Stamford, Conn. – February 19, 2016 – AmeriCares has more than $3 million in medicine on the way to help children and families in war-torn Syria. AmeriCares, an emergency response and global health organization, has shipments of antibiotics, cardiovascular medicine, intravenous fluids and diabetes medication in transit.
The shipments of medicine from AmeriCares will support the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which operates over 100 medical facilities in Syria, including underground trauma hospitals. SAMS also supports dozens more medical facilities with medicine, supplies, equipment and medical personnel. GSK, Sanofi Foundation for NA and Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation have donated medicine to AmeriCares for the effort.
Five years of war in Syria have destroyed infrastructure, displaced millions and put the health of millions more at risk. Of the estimated 470,000 war-related deaths in Syria, 70,000 have been attributed to a lack of health care services and sanitation, according to new research from the Syrian Center for Policy Research, a think tank studying the socioeconomic impact of the conflict. The deteriorating living conditions and diminished health services have brought the life expectancy in Syria down from 70.5 years to 55.4 years in the last five years, according to the research. Medical facilities have been damaged or destroyed in the violence, including recent attacks on two hospitals in Idlib supported by SAMS.
“Syria’s health care system has been devastated,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “The population not only faces risks from bombs and bullets, but also from a range of chronic and acute illnesses. The medicine we are providing will be put to use immediately to help save lives and protect the health of civilians in Syria.”
AmeriCares has been supporting health services for families affected by the Syria crisis since 2012. To date, AmeriCares has delivered more than $7 million in medical aid in response to the crisis, including essential primary care medicines, chronic disease care medications and intravenous fluids. AmeriCares aid has supported health care services in Syria, as well as medical care for Syrian families seeking refuge in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. As the numbers of desperate Syrians fleeing to Europe increased in 2015, AmeriCares expanded its work to include support for refugees arriving in Greece.
AmeriCares has been delivering medicine and relief supplies in response to natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty since 1979, saving lives and building healthier futures for people in crisis. AmeriCares responds to an average of 30 disasters and humanitarian emergencies each year, helping to restore health services. The organization also brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities and launches long-term recovery programs after major emergencies.