Suffering and lack of capabilities in the health sector in Syria as a result of US sanctions on the country.
The effects of the economic sanctions imposed on Syria are exacerbating, especially in light of the continuing outbreak of the “coronavirus” epidemic, especially since those sanctions, which the US claimed to target only Syrian government sectors, are imposed on all sectors that have an essential role in the lives of Syrians, including the health sector, which can be said that it’s one of the sectors most affected by these unjust sanctions.
The damage to the health sector in Syria intensified with the start of the US’ implementation of the “Caesar” law, which is still being heard, not only by the Syrian people, but also by many other Arab and foreign countries, which demand the complete and unconditional lifting of sanctions with the aim of enabling the Syrian state to face the difficulties that hinder the health sector in light of the spread of the “coronavirus” pandemic.
Other international bodies, including relief organizations, are also calling for the lifting of the sanctions imposed on Syria, at least partially or conditionally, so that the Syrian government agencies can supply the health sector with its basic necessary materials, especially since drug prices throughout the country are suffering from unprecedented high rises.
Before the war, the pharmaceutical industries in Syria were classified as the most developed and successful in the country, as barely 4 years had passed since the private sector was allowed to establish factories for the production of medicine in 1987, when the number of licensed and invested laboratories reached more than 28, exceeding the number At the beginning of the year 2011, the 70 pharmaceutical laboratories, with high economic indicators, and a production rate of 93% of the needs of the Syrian local market.
However, with the start of the war and the control of armed organizations over areas containing dozens of pharmaceutical factories, which either suffered great damage and stopped working, or were deliberately stolen by militants and their supporters from the Western countries, the production of the pharmaceutical sector began to decline sharply, which reached the most during the past 2 years, especially the economic sanctions, including the “Caesar” law, made the Syrian health sector in a state of great scarcity in terms of raw materials needed for the production of medicines and the operation of the remaining laboratories.
Despite the increase in the number of licensed laboratories in Syria at the end of 2019 to about 92, following the stability of the security situation in most of the country, the rise in the prices of raw materials as a result of the unjust sanctions imposed on Syria brought the drug industry in the country into severe crises, the effects of which were reflected in a way It’s greater for citizens, especially those with chronic diseases who need special medicines on a regular basis, which are recording high prices or sometimes unavailable.
The effects of the economic sanctions on the Syrian health sector are also shown by government decisions that have had to raise official prices for all produced items and the sources of their raw materials, consequently, many Syrian families are no longer able to secure medicines after the average spending on them before 2011 was approximately 1.5%.
As the country is witnessing a great shortage of specific and important medicines, including those related to hepatitis, cancer, diabetes and stress, the emerging “coronavirus” pandemic has increased the difficulties of the Syrian state in confronting it with the economic sanctions imposed on it by the US, and the West is indifferent to the seriousness of the humanitarian health situation in the Syrian country.
Russia and China are the main countries that tried to break the economic siege imposed on Syria in light of the coronavirus pandemic, by providing the Syrian government with batches of vaccine, at a time when the US was trying to deprive the Syrian people of it, through its sanctions that claim that they target the Syrian government sector only.
The Russian and Chinese intervention had an important role in stabilizing the situation of the pandemic in Syria, which is clearly noted through the numbers of daily infections that decreased compared to the beginning of the pandemic, but this doesn’t negate the reality of the great difficulties that the Syrian state suffers from in its attempts to address the virus.
Some of these difficulties are represented by the continuous pressure by the US on countries or international organizations that are trying to provide the Syrian state with advanced vaccines for coronavirus, or even the necessary supplies for the pharmaceutical industries, so that India would be the best example of the matter when it announced the suspension of the export of a large and important part of raw materials to Syria.
The economic sanctions also played a role in the rise in freight charges for raw materials for the pharmaceutical industries, especially from China, which is the most important source of these materials, as freight charges amounted to 15 dollars after it was 5 dollars per kilogram, which resulted in an additional decline in production and shortages in the domestic pharmaceutical market.
According to the data of the Syrian Ministry of Health, the total number of people infected with the new “coronavirus” since the beginning of the pandemic has exceeded 55000, to reflect the cases of recovery whose number exceeded 51000 cases, a reality that enables the Syrian state to respond to the pandemic in an acceptable manner, despite the imposed sanctions, in contrast, nearly 4000 deaths due to infection with the virus were recorded.