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ICC Note:

Syrian villages under siege by government forces are completely blocked, preventing medicine from entering these communities and residents from leaving to seek medical treatment.  This includes opposition controlled areas in Idlib, an area where Christians had resided safely for decades. The Syrian conflict changed that. When opposition forces entered Idlib, crosses were torn down and most Christian families were displaced. But with the map changing on a daily basis, it is difficult for any Christian to find safety. Any restrictions on traveling to find medical help further complicates their struggle, forcing them to remain in unsafe areas while their health deteriorates.

 

11/01/2017 Syria (Crux Now) –     A seven-month old infant recently died in Syria of leukemia, one of an estimated 5,800 civilians who have died for reasons related to the country’s ongoing civil war in the first half of 2017. He was an orphan, his parents lost to a war that wasn’t theirs. He had no time, and no awareness, to be affiliated with any of the players in the bloody conflict.

He died for the simple reason that his doctors weren’t allowed to treat him.

His crime? Being born in a village under siege, some 6 miles from Damascus. He wasn’t allowed out, and the medicine to treat him wasn’t allowed in, blocked by the government of Basshar Al-Assad, despite pressure from both Russia and Egypt.

His pediatrician, Dr. Nour, believes he could have survived. (For security reasons, “Nour” is a pseudonym.)

Nour also tended to a family that lost three children to cancer, the oldest of whom was a nine-year-old girl. She was the last one to die, a day after the government finally authorized her to leave her besieged village to go to Damascus.

“She’d already lost her eyes by then,” Nour told Crux.

In recent months, the doctor also seen a nine-year-old patient commit suicide because he was too hungry to go on, and a four-year-old die of viral meningitis, an easily treatable disease.

On a daily basis, she sees 60 to 70 patients. On average, two of them have severe malnutrition.

Together with her husband, she’s worked for the past four years in the opposition-controlled area in Idlib, some 30 miles southwest of Aleppo.

In the past seven years, an estimated 70 percent of Syria’s medical staff has either been killed, or has fled the country afraid of being killed. Hospitals, a key target during conflict, have been improvised underground, and locals have added sand bags and concrete, trying to minimize the damage of each shelling.

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