Healthcare in Deir ez-Zor faces an unprecedented crisis with over 80% of the medical practitioners in the villages of Deir ez-Zor, which is under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the left bank of the Euphrates River, not being certified and sometimes not even having a high school diploma.
To date, the local authorities have not announced any rehabilitation program for health facilities or the rehabilitation of human resources services in the health sector in general and in primary healthcare centers in particular, despite knowing the extent of the situation.
Just four clinics serve six towns and some 60 villages in the SDF controlled areas in Deir ez-Zor, with an estimated 700,000 inhabitants living there.
In addition to the four health centers, the Kasra Hospital west of the city of Deir ez-Zor is the only public hospital operating, which provides its services free of charge and seeks to cover the shortage of medical services. However, the hospital lacks the necessary medical equipment.
Additionally, there are a few private doctor offices that are still open in certain towns such as Al-Basira, Al-Shuhail and Taiban in the eastern part of Deir ez-Zor.
As a result, Deir ez-Zor suffers from the spread of chronic and communicable diseases. It is a fertile breeding ground for bacterial strains resistant to traditional antibiotics that people use without medical prescriptions.
According to one of the few pharmacists working in a western village of Deir ez-Zor, 90% of the drugs used by patients for treatments are purchased directly from pharmacies without prescriptions, where patients, due to poor economic conditions on the one hand and the absence of medical awareness on the other, rely on drugs described by pharmacists most of whom are not certified.
Leishmania parasites that cause Leishmaniosis invade the villages of the western countryside of Deir ez-Zor.
But the major catastrophe now facing the lives of people in Deir ez-Zor appears to be the spread of cholera. There have been many reports of symptoms that are believed to be cholera symptoms. The results from blood tests confirm this. There is every reason to suggest that an eminent catastrophe is looming in Deir ez-Zor.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.