Days after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Syria and Turkey on 6 February, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ph.D., arrived in the Levantine republic with 35 tonnes of humanitarian goods to help the devastated citizens.
Syria’s Health Minister, physician Hassan al-Ghabbash, and Governor Hussein Diab received Dr. Tedros at the Aleppo International Airport on 11 February. The WHO Director-General told the Syrian press corps that “We brought in about 35 to 37 tons of medical and health requirements, including antibiotics and biomedical equipment for conducting small operations in the hospitals, asserting that the shipment will enable the health workers to provide the required health services to the affected” in the areas most devastated by one of the most ruinous earthquakes of the past century.
Dr. Tedros told the press he hoped the [US OFAC] partial lifting of ‘sanctions‘ against Syria would “would facilitate and support international relief operations and the arrival of the necessary materials” in the regions most afflicted by the earthquake.
Health Minister Hassan al-Ghabbash and Governor Hussein Diab then took Dr. Tedros to meet some of the survivors of the earthquake, who were receiving medical care.
While the plane laden with essential medical aid for earthquake relief, subsequently flew to Damascus International Airport, Dr. Tedros went by car, noting some of the destruction along the way:
Per SANA, “President al-Assad stressed the importance of the organization delegation’s visit to Syria in these circumstances, in order to see the medical and humanitarian needs required to treat people affected by the earthquake.”
Syria’s president also “expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the organization in this regard, and the provided support for the health sector in Syria.”
“The members of the delegation affirmed that the WHO is ready to work with Syria to face the consequences of the war and the earthquake, and to contribute to providing assistance according to the required needs.”
Dr. Tedros’ remarks to the Syrian press, in Damascus on 12 February, on WHO’s earthquake relief.
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