Six years of conflict have brought the Syrian health service, once one of the best in the Middle East, close to collapse
“My daughter was first diagnosed with kidney cancer and treated,” he said. “Now cancer has been found also in her lungs.”
“The impact of economic sanctions imposed on Syria heavily affected the procurement of some specific medicine including anti-cancer medicines,” said Hoff. The sanctions were preventing many international pharmaceutical companies from dealing with the Syrian authorities as well as hindering foreign banks in handling payments for imported drugs, she added.
“Such measures are not aimed at the civilian population,” an EU spokeswoman said. “EU sanctions do not apply to key sectors of the Syrian economy such as food and medicine.”
“Most of the cancer medicines are imported. Pharmex used to import the stock of medicines that public hospitals need. But it has not been able to do so largely because of the economic sanctions, I believe,” he said.
“We don’t have hospitals or charities in Qalamoun. Free treatment is offered only at the Children’s Hospital in Damascus,” Nawal said.
“A child with cancer might die waiting for his turn to get treatment,” she said.