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Snapshot of whole of Syria health sector response (4Ws) 2019

Health Cluster
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The 2019 Health Sector Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) initially targeted 13.2 million people in need and was later increased to 13.7 million during the mid-year revision of the sector severity scale.

Nearly 32% of the total sector appeal of 449.1 million USD was reportedly raised.

Overall, more than 1.8 million population movements inside Syria were reported during the year. Hostilities continued in 2019 with repeated escalations in violence in northwest Syria (NWS) causing more than 400,000 displacements between May and August, and a further 300,000 in December alone. Areas of northeast Syria (NES) also saw significant conflict with the so-called liberation of ISIS-controlled areas in lower Deir-ez-Zor during the first quarter, and an outbreak of hostilities in October during which more than 250,000 people were forced to flee their homes – many of whom sought refuge in camps and collective shelters.

According the WHO Whole of Syria consolidated HERAMS for Q4 2019, only 53 per cent of hospitals and 51 per cent of primary healthcare centres (PHCs) are estimated to be fully functional across Syria. Supply chains are also disrupted with patients reporting lack of medicines as a key barrier and their most frequent out-of-pocket cost related to health care.

People living in collective centers and informal settlements, overburdened hosting communities, and locations without reliable water, sanitation and shelter remained highly vulnerable to epidemic-prone disease.

Proportionate morbidity of overall waterborne illness remained relatively stable compared to the previous year, though total acute diarrhea increased 8%6. Suspected leishmaniasis cases increased in absolute number (16,310) and proportionate morbidity (14%) as compared to 2018.

Measles cases declined dramatically largely due to widespread immunization efforts to overcome outbreaks in 2018. Additionally, Syria remained polio-free in 2019.

The health sector exceeded its 2019 HRP target (114%) for treatment courses delivered and reached 93% of its target for medical procedures.

Notably, both of these topline interventions aligned with the health sector’s People in Need (PiN) distribution according to severity – indicating that health actors are successfully maintaining a principled, needs-driven approach.