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ARA News, Oct 16, 2016

Operating theatre in al-Hikma Hospital in Mabij, northern Syria (photo by ARA News)

Operating theatre in al-Hikma Hospital in Mabij, northern Syria (photo by ARA News)

MANBIJ – The health sector in Syria’s Manbij is suffering a sharp shortage of medicine and specialised staff. The shortage coincides with the spread of diseases in the area that was liberated from ISIS militants at the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in August.

There are seven hospitals in Manbij in total, three of them are out of service due to destruction caused by the war. ISIS had bombed the major National Hospital of Manbij with explosives.

The group also robbed main medical equipment from the hospitals of Manbij city. Local sources said that remaining equipment was destroyed by ISIS militants.

According to Muhammad Issa, the director of al-Barkal Hospital in Manbij, most of the medical centres in the city are out of service. “The health sector is almost nonexistent in Manbij,” he said. “The available equipments are damaged. There is an urgent need for medical support to save hundreds of patients.”

According to the directory of al-Hikma Hospital in Manbij, there are only few doctors currently working there.

“After the liberation of Manbij, only 20-30 doctors have remained working here. Most of the doctors escaped during the ISIS invasion,” Dr. Issa said.

The shortage of medical supplies and staff has led to serious consequences in the health sector in Manbij. This comes amid an absence of humanitarian and aid organisations in the city.

“We appeal to the international humanitarian organisations to provide assistance,” said Issa Hammadi, a gastroenterologist in Manbij city.

Dr. Hammadi told ARA News that since the liberation of Manbij three months ago, they have been encountering a lot of challenges while trying to revive the health sector.

“The lack of medicine and equipment has prevented us from providing the necessary treatment and healthcare to those in need. For instance the artificial kidney device, which is necessary for treating patients suffering from kidney diseases, is impossible to find here,” Dr. Hammadi said. “There were some equipment in the Basel Hospital but they’ve been destroyed during the war.”

“We are obliged to transfer many patients to other areas for treatment. Imagine that some patients need urgent treatment but we’re obliged to send them to other places and they need hours to reach the nearest health-care centre,” he said. “Many of them don’t make it at all. Two days ago we transferred a patient to a hospital in Aleppo city, but she died while on her way.”

Read also:
Rojava hosts thousands of displaced Iraqi civilians as war on ISIS intensifies, ARA News, Oct 16, 2016

HASAKAH – Thousands of Iraqi civilians escaping war-torn Nineveh arrived on Sunday to Syria’s northeastern Hasakah Governorate looking for a safe haven. The Kurdish-led Self-Administration of Rojava said that its local committees in Hasakah provided thousands of Iraqi families with shelter in the al-Hawl Camp –near the Syrian-Iraqi border…

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