Tragic case of the health sector in the city of Abu Kamal

Health sector has declined in Al Boukmal city, east Deir Ezzor, after the city was taken over by ISIS and Syrian opposition groups were deported. Over time, health sector reached the edge of a cliff due to the decisions and procedures issued by ISIS along with the continuous aerial bombardment against health facilities. All of those reasons led to a health catastrophe.

The reasons behind the very poor health conditions are the following;

  • The aerial attacks against the National Hospital in the city. The hospital was providing free of charges health care to the population. The air attacks resulted in a massive damage. ISIS mobilized all instruments, generators, and sterilizing equipment to Iraq and Al Shaddadi, countryside of Al Hasakeh.
  • The attack against Aysha Hospital. ISIS repaired the hospital and stopped its free service, except for ISIS members, and the financial revenues became to ISIS.
  • ISIS prevented medical organization from work, and paying the medical staff very low salaries –max 20000 SP, that led most of medical staff to leave the city for the sake of better job opportunities.
  • No medical points in the surrounding villages of Al Boukmal except in Hajeen hospital, 45 km from the city, where the service is not free of charges.
  • Seven laboratories still work in the city where their requirements provided throughout traders who bring them from Damascus at extremely high prices and consequently will be reflected on people. Examination fees increased to reach 1000 SP, the dental treatment fees increased to 5000 SP, and tooth extraction fees at 1000 SP, where patients extract their damaged tooth since it is the cheaper fee.
  • A number of pharmacies were closed for one of two reasons; not license issued by ISIS , or the owner does not live in the city.
  • Preventing male gynecologists from practicing their careers except via a female nurse taking the instructions by the doctor.

There are four private hospitals ; Al Baraa, Al Hanaa, Al Tawfeeq, and Al Zubayr alog with two field hospitals for treating ISIS patients. Those two field hospitals are equipped with anesthetic instrument and CT scanner along with other required equipment. Those instrument s are not available in the other public hospitals except one CT scanner which does not work anymore and ISIS did not repair.

There are two medical centers in the city, one of them contains ECO scanner and the other contains X-Ray scanner at high price. There is one dialysis center where the patients have to buy the raw material, so they reduce the session numbers from 3 to 1 session a week. The cost of one session is 30000 SP and there are 75 patients in the city.

There are some diseases such as polio, leishmaniasis, and smallpox along with 15000 cases of hespatitis with different classes a-b-c.

According to the administrative division of ISIS, Al Boukmal city belongs to Al Furat wilaya, which includes also Iraqi Al Qaem city that suffers from marginalization on different levels and continuous aerial attacks. This city is so essential according to ISIS leaders due to its geographical location, near to Iraqi borders, which force the young people to leave the city and seek for secure places inside Syria or abroad.

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