Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • In the cancer ward at Damascus Children's Hospital, doctors are struggling with a critical shortage of specialist drugs to treat their young patients - and it's not just due to the general chaos of the Syrian civil war, reports Reuters. <br></br> Children with cancer sit at the hospital, March 16, 2017.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • Local and World Health Organization (WHO) officials also blame Western sanctions for severely restricting pharmaceutical imports, even though medical supplies are largely exempt from measures imposed by the United States and European Union. A nurse tends to a child suffering from cancer at Damascus Children's Hospital.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • Six years of conflict have brought the Syrian health service, once one of the best in the Middle East, close to collapse. Nurses tend to a child with cancer at Damascus Children's Hospital.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • Fewer than half of the country's hospitals are fully functioning and numbers of doctors have sharply dropped. Syrian boy Ghazi, left, stands next to his mother, Um Ghazi, as he receives treatment for cancer at Damascus Children's Hospital.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • Before the conflict, Syria produced 90 percent of the medicines it needed but anti-cancer drugs were among those where it traditionally relied on imports. Children sit in beds as they receive treatment inside the cancer ward of the hospital in February.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • Reuters reports that medicine imports have been hit by significant cuts in the government’s health budget since the war began in 2011 plus a 90 percent drop in the value of the Syrian pound, which has made some pharmaceuticals prohibitively expensive. Children walk inside cancer ward in February.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • By clamping down on financial transactions and barring much business with the Syrian government, Western sanctions are indirectly affecting trade in pharmaceuticals. A nurse tends to a baby undergoing cancer tests at the hospital in March.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • About 200 children visit the Damascus hospital every week, with more than 70 percent from outside the capital, according to its head, Maher Haddad. People wait for their turn at the hospital in March.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
  • The hospital has only 36 free beds, with 17 of those allocated to children with cancer. A boy sleeps while receiving treatment in February.
    Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
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