As Covid 19 cases continue to rise in Syria, supplies of testing kits and oxygen are beginning to run low while aid agencies are calling for a ceasefire to protect civilians. Since early August the total number of Covid cases in northwest Syria has more than doubled, and daily cases have increased tenfold. Currently more than every second testing is positive; the hospitals are reaching their full capacities and health care workers are pushed to the limit. At the same time, only about 2 percent of the population has been vaccinated.
Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief agency, has been active in the country since the beginning of the conflict in 2011 primarily by supporting hospitals, healthcare centres and mobile medical units. In the wake of the pandemic, it has scaled up programmes to curb the infection rate by organising and coordinating information campaigns on vaccinations and has distributed 300 oxygen concentrators and delivered protective equipment to 75 health facilities.
The situation is particularly dramatic in the refugee camps where safety measures like distancing, handwashing, wearing mouth and nose protection are a great challenge for people who have been forced to flee their homes.
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, Malteser International has been providing life-saving emergency aid to Syrians in need. In addition to distributing relief supplies such as blankets, mattresses, and hygiene articles, Malteser International ensures adequate water supply, sanitation, hygiene inside the camps and psychosocial support.