Health warns of implications of WHO decision on petroleum products

The Public Health and Population Ministry on Monday warned of the repercussions of the World Health Organization’s decision to stop subsidizing oil derivatives for health facilities, according to Saba.

The ministry will reconsider its partnership with the WHO that abdicates its responsibility in light of crises, especially under the war and siege.

Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. Najeeb al-Qubati denounced the WHO decision to stop supporting oil derivatives for health facilities, starting in March.

Al-Qubati explained this irresponsible decision will lead to stopping the services of 141 health facilities, reflecting the unfortunate weakness of the WHO, which has been unable to continue to provide vital petroleum products to operate health facilities and save the lives of patients.

The inability of the United Nations system to facilitate access to oil products due to the aggression and blockade that has been going for six years is in itself a failure to fulfill the basic obligations guaranteed by international humanitarian law, he said.

The spokesperson said the WHO decision, which coincides with the continued detention of oil vessels by the aggression, raises questions about its timing and its background.

“The reduction of international organizations working under the umbrella of the United Nations to support the health sector in 2020 reveals their inability to respond to the humanitarian response and confirms the poor feasibility of the aid provided through them, which calls for the search for an alternative as well as search for more feasible mechanisms to deal with the largest humanitarian disaster in the world,” he said.

He added as long as the WHO does not pay attention to the effects of its decision on the lives of patients and those in need of care, especially mothers, newborns, and children, the Ministry is currently reviewing its partnership with it and examining its options, as it is not possible to rely on a partner that abdicates its responsibilities in light of crises.

The health spokesperson pointed out the stopping life-saving interventions is an inevitable result of stopping oil derivatives, especially in emergency departments, obstetric and neonatal emergencies, operating rooms, intensive care, neonatal incubators, and dialysis units as well as stopping medical equipment and oxygen generation plants.

He held the United Nations and international organizations, in particular the WHO, fully responsible for the implications of this decision, calling for an immediate review of the decision before it is too late.


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