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WHO chief arrives in Syria’s quake-hit Aleppo: state media – World News Jani

WHO chief arrives in Syria’s quake-hit Aleppo: state media – World News Jani

ALEPPO: World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus arrived in Aleppo, Syria’s quake-hit region, on Saturday, state media reported.

State news agency SANA said Tedros “arrived at Aleppo airport together with the (Syrian) health minister and Aleppo governor and visited some hospitals and shelters”.

His visit came five days after a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing more than 24,000 people, including at least 3,553 in war-torn Syria alone.

The world should remember those displaced by the earthquake in the Syrian city of Turkey, the UN aid chief said.

When they arrived, Tedros said they were carrying “approximately 37 metric tons of emergency medical supplies”.

“We are very happy to bring the goods,” he told reporters at Aleppo airport.

“This is the first batch of supplies we sent.”

He added that the WHO would continue to provide emergency medical services and bring in more emergency equipment needed for “trauma management”.

“Tomorrow, there will be another round of over 30 tonnes,” he said.

He expressed concern about the aftermath of the quake, especially service disruptions.

“People are suffering from diarrheal disease … and other health issues, especially mental health issues,” he said.

“We will work together to respond to the impact of the earthquake, not just emergency services during the earthquake.”

Syrian Health Minister Hassan Gash welcomed Tedros at the airport, calling his visit “very important in many ways”.

“He will first look at the facts and what caused this disaster,” he said.

“We want Dr Tedros to see the reality of hospitals and their shortages,” he said, calling on the WHO to help provide missing equipment.

With few resources, rescuers and volunteers have been searching for survivors beneath the concrete rubble of collapsed buildings since Monday’s quake.

The United Nations says the disaster could displace 5.3 million people in Syria, including 200,000 in Aleppo alone.

Survivors of the quake poured from other parts of Syria into a camp for people displaced by the nearly 12-year war. Many have lost their homes, or are afraid to return to damaged buildings.

Syria’s healthcare system has been damaged by years of conflict.

Ahmed al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said, “Many hospitals (about 50% of health facilities) are not functioning, and those that are still functioning lack equipment, staff and medicines. Lack.”

Richard Brennan, the WHO’s regional emergencies director, said the organization would launch an “appeal of more than $40 million for Turkey and Syria”.

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