Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/6/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Doctors have fled, hospitals in ruin since uprising

In strife-torn Syria, if gunfire from rebels or government forces doesn't fell you first, diseases will. Water-borne diseases have become increasing rife in this embattled Middle Eastern nation. Medicine is scarce, many doctors have fled for their lives and hospitals are in ruins.

Syria's infrastructure has been considerably weakened after nearly two years of fighting, the World Health Organization reports.

Syria's infrastructure has been considerably weakened after nearly two years of fighting, the World Health Organization reports.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/6/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Syria, hepatitis, water-borne diseases, illness, vaccine, war

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The nation's infrastructure has been considerably weakened after nearly two years of fighting, the World Health Organization reports. The Syrian Health Ministry has run out of trauma treatments to help the increasing numbers of burn victims and wounded civilians in intensive care units.

"The biggest concern for us is the breakdown of the water and sanitation system and the increasing numbers of water-borne diseases," WHO Representative Elisabeth Hoff told journalists.

Hepatitis A, a viral liver disease that can cause explosive epidemics, has been reported in Aleppo and Idlib. Crowded shelters for the homeless in Damascus have also been affected, she said.

Aid groups have had to start using alternatives to purify water because the import of chlorine gas has been banned over fears it could be misused as a chemical weapon. The UN Children's Fund has begun importing sodium hydrochloride, a liquid used for water purification through Jordan.

With the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad and rebels trying to unseat him, the critically ill could swell the ranks of the four million.

"The catastrophic humanitarian crisis continues to deepen," Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says.

"We are operating mostly out of government-controlled areas, that don't mean we don't deliver in opposition-controlled areas. Frontlines are changing, it is fluid situation," he said.

Hoff said she had visited a burns hospital in the capital which receives patients from all over the country. "These explosions are taking place and hitting into highly populated areas. You see a number of children and women with serious burns," she said.

Hoff said the government could not access a factory in Aleppo that produces serum to help such trauma patients, because the road is controlled by the opposition.

"The factory has the serum which is needed for operations, for trauma and for injured, but they cannot access it because three kilometers of the road between the factory and the city is totally controlled by the opposition," Hoff said.

Syrian military planes carrying doses of vaccine against measles and polio were shot at last week in Aleppo, she said.

"So we are now trying to see how we can set up a convoy and negotiate also with the opposition to try to get this in, not only to the public hospitals but also to the non-governmental organizations," she said.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

Saudi teen to be beheaded for teaching first aid to demonstrators in times of protests Watch

Image of


A second teenager will be beheaded in Saudi Arabia for participating in protests. The teen's sentence was reported only a few days following teenager's conviction sparked international outcry.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dawoud al-Marhoon was only ... continue reading

China to join Russian forces in the battle against ISIS Watch

Image of China joins forces with Russia to eradicate ISIS threats (AFP).


China is allegedly preparing to unleash its military forces in Syria and join forces with Vladimir Putin's army to destroy ISIS. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russia has carried out a series of destructive and deadly airstrikes against the terrorist nation IS ... continue reading

Violence increases in Jerusalem's Old City as tensions between Palestinians and Israelis rise Watch

Image of Palestinian/Israeli tensions continue to rise (AP).


An 18-year-old Palestinian woman was allegedly shot by an Israeli man on Wednesday, after she stabbed him during a brawl in Jerusalem's Old City. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online)  - Both parties were taken to the hospital. While the man did not receive serious ... continue reading

U.S./Iran negotiation ban effective immediately Watch

Image of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


On Wednesday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prohibited further negotiations between Iran and the United States, further isolating Iran following July's nuclear deal. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Khamenei, who is the highest authority in the ... continue reading

Disturbing graphic video encourages Arabs to kill Jews in Jerusalem Watch

Image of Video promotes Jewish stereotypes and encourages Arabs to kill Jews in Jerusalem (YouTube).


A disturbing video depicting the stabbing of Jewish men was uploaded to YouTube on Hamas' official Channel. YouTube removed the video, calling it a violation of the prohibition against promoting hate speeches. However, the video was reuploaded to a pro-Israel blog. LOS ... continue reading

Russian jets shadow U.S. drones in Syria Watch

Image of U.S. predator drones were


American officials revealed that Russian fighter jets intercepted and shadowed U.S. predator drones on three separate occasions following the initiation of Russian airstrikes last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Intelligence reports from U.S. officials ... continue reading

Syrian woman gang raped and later stabbed to death in honor killing for being 'unclean' Watch

Image of Rockstan M. was killed by her own father and two brothers, allegedly on orders given by her mother (Twitter).


Rokstan M. managed to escape in Syria after being gang-raped by three men. She fled to Germany but was later murdered by her own father and two brothers, allegedly by her own mother's orders because she was seen as "unclean" after the sexual assault. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

'Don't make it worse for yourselves': Lleaflets dropped from Russian helicopters warn civilians to flee and rebels to give up Watch

Image of Russian military drops leaflets above Rastan and Talbiseh, Syria.


Russia reportedly dropped at least ten thousand leaflets with distinct messages aimed at civilians and rebel troops, including ISIS members.Through a Kremlin-friendly website, the leaflet details were posted, including warnings for people to leave the area before more ... continue reading

The Feared Spetsnaz: Russian special forces sent to take out rebels -including the Free Syrian Army Watch

Image of Spetsnaz special forces.


Feared Spetsnaz special forces were reportedly sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to obliterate Islamic State terrorists and the moderate rebel groups against Bashar al-Assad. The special troops' intervention was said to be indicative of Russia's support for the ... continue reading

What is the Islamic State doing with all those Toyota vehicles? Watch

Image of It took awhile for others to catch on, but propaganda videos released by Islamic State, or ISIS, shows them using an extraordinary amount of vehicles from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota.


It took awhile for others to catch on, but propaganda videos released by Islamic State, or ISIS, shows them using an extraordinary amount of vehicles from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota. The U.S. Treasury Department has since launched an inquiry as to why. ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More