A healthcare crisis
Medical students and doctors in Syria face huge challenges
- By: Keir Stone-Brown
The Syrian conflict has become one of the worst humanitarian disasters of this century. Incredibly though, there remains a continuing resolve by medical students to finish their training even as the healthcare infrastructure deteriorates. Over the past two years students have faced greater challenges than many of us will face in our entire lives. Louna Dreihi, a medical student at Damascus University, describes a situation that is all too familiar. “I have been many times only metres or minutes from my death, with many of us also staying away from [our] families, praying day and night for them to stay safe and alive.” Having begun in March 2011 as a revolution driven by the hope of the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war has since deteriorated into a stalemate between President Assad’s regime and tentatively allied opposition forces.
Elizabeth Hoff, World Health Organization representative to Syria for the past 12