MOSCOW, May 25 (Itar-Tass) — Economic sanctions imposed by the West on Syria have produced a shortage of medicines and medical devices in that country, well-informed sources in Moscow told Itar-Tass.
The agency’s interlocutors called attention to a statement by the Syrian minister of healthcare, Dr Wael Al Halaqi who said the personnel of medical institutions sustains everyday attacks by members of paramilitary groupings who commit acts of marauding and kill doctors, paramedics and nurses.
Over recently, attacks have been made at five outpatient clinics and 16 ambulance cars, six of which were brought out of operation.
All in all, a total of twenty-two medics have died in Syria since the start of disturbances a year ago. Another 42 medics were wounded.
Assaults and rampages have affected 84 outpatient clinics and 24 hospitals, three of which are fully destroyed now.
Shelling and attacks have put out of action partially or completely 199 ambulance cars.
“The medical sector /in Syria/ is experiencing difficulties in the wake of economic sanctions imposed by the West, and this is particularly felt in the shortages of a number of medicines and medical devices,” Al Halaqi said. “However, medical institutions continue giving full-scale healthcare services to the military and to civilians regardless of the political outlooks the latter may have.”
In the meantime, the International Red Cross has made known its readiness to provide all the necessary assistance to the Syrian people in restoring the normal functioning of government-run and private medical institutions. It pointed out the particular sufferings that the economic sanctions have subjected the rank-and-file Syrians to.
Red Cross officials also pointed to an inadmissibility of attacks on medics and acts of vandalism against hospitals. They described such instances as manifestations of blatant encroachment on international law.