While there are many countries that are facing their own challenges in health care, Syria would have to go to near the top of the list for those most in need. There has been outreach to this region by many other countries but there is still much that the occupants here are in need of. When something as vital as a large supply of vaccine gets destroyed the blow of this action is extremely devastating.
Imagine the encouragement that a cold room filled with 100,000 doses of measles vaccine would do to help bring this disease to a halt in this region. Or what about 35,000 doses of vital polio vaccine? This is what was being stored in a facility in Syria, at least until it became subjected to an attack that destroyed it all. Not only that, the facility itself was destroyed. So, it is not just a matter of the WHO shipping the replacement vaccines. It means a new facility has to be built and equipped properly for the storage of these vital vaccines, along with the accessories needed to administer them.
Syria has already had to deal with a Polio outbreak as recently as June of this year. This is just one of the several extremely serious diseases that challenges this region. Not only do the residents here have to withstand against the dangers of war, extremely poor living conditions, and a shortage of food, they face the possibility of being stricken with a disease such as polio that can cause permanent paralysis.
Measles is another disease that can easily grow to epidemic proportions. In June of this year the Southern part of Syria was hit with an outbreak of this simply because they had not had access to a simple vaccine that would have prevented this. It had been two years since those in the region had any access to this vaccine. This disease is commonly known to attack babies and young children and the evidence of this is what was seen in Syria’s recent outbreak. Proper vaccination is important to provide the necessary protection. This is comprised of two injections of the vaccine with one being given to the recipients as babies, then a booster injection being administered between the ages of four to six.
There is no doubt that the stored vaccine that held the hope for thousands of people in the area is a massive loss. According to the WHO they indicate that this attack on these vital vaccines was done as a weapon of war.