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IRC warns of worsening public health crisis in northwest Syria following earthquake

the devastating impact of Monday’s earthquake becomes clearer across Türkiye and Syria, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is warning of a public health breakdown in northwest Syria.

Significant damage to already overwhelmed health facilities and vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges, means that a health system already decimated following 12 years of conflict is now buckling under increased demand.

According to local authorities, more than 2,000 deaths and 5,000 injuries have been reported in the northwest of the country following the earthquake. With the number of injured expected to rise still further there are concerns that the area’s health system will simply not cope. Even before the earthquake a third of all hospitals and nearly a half of primary healthcare centres inside Syria were non-functional.

It is still unclear how many health facilities have been damaged in the disaster and to what extent. But with more than 2,000 buildings in northwest Syria reported to be completely destroyed, and many more severely damaged, the likely impact on the health system in the country is grave.

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