Grave concerns have been voiced over the current humanitarian health situation in northeast Syria, with fears that ongoing displacements, overcrowded living conditions, and limited access to safe water and sanitation services, will lead to an increase in the number of people affected by water-borne diseases.
Approximately 200,000 people have been displaced in the region as a result of increased military operations since 9 October, and it is estimated 1.5 million people are in need of health aid.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) says the already weakened health services in the region have been severely impacted by the latest security developments. A number of hospitals are non-functional or have limited services, including the national hospitals in Ras Al-Ain and in Tel Abyad, while some health partners have suspended services due to insecurity. There are reports of at least two attacks on health facilities at the weekend alone.
The WHO has reiterated its call on all parties in the conflict to preserve the right to health for hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in northeast Syria and comply with International Humanitarian Law to protect all civilians, including healthcare workers and patients, as well as health facilities.