Dangers of Covid-19 heightened in the Syrian camps

Irish man Maurice Sadlier warns of the dangers of the Coronavirus spreading “like wildfire”. Nine children froze to death in Syrian camps in February.

Tipperary man Maurice Sadlier who is the Programmes Director for World Vision Ireland has warned that the coronavirus will completely overwhelm the health system in Syria. Sadlier, who oversees World Vision Ireland programmes, said that the aftermath of Covid-19 could lead to the death of 30 million children in the developing world. Thousands of people in the Syrian camps are living in tents or sleeping outside in the freezing cold. Nine children froze to death in the camps in February.

Maurice Sadlier

“If coronavirus hits the camps in Syria, it will spread like wildfire.” Maurice said. “These camps are overcrowded, lack hygiene facilities, food supplies, and clean, running water. A lot of these camps are rife with poor health – many families are already battling tuberculosis, pneumonia, hypothermia, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, malaria, anemia, HIV and AIDS.”

World Vision is a child-focused international aid charity, which plans to reach 22.5 million people, 11 million of which are children, across 17 priority countries, with their Covid-19 response.

“People who have so little are exposed to so much danger, in this crisis.” Maurice explained. “Whilst every country is experiencing difficulties and tragedies in their response to the coronavirus, these issues are heightened and more dangerous for people in the Syrian camps.”

World Vision Ireland has stated that as many as 30 million children’s lives are in danger from secondary health impacts:

26 million-plus children at greater risk of being exposed to other deadly diseases because of lack of immunisation

Five million-plus children could suffer from increasing malnutrition, which is an increase of almost 40 per cent from the current levels.

100,000-plus children could die from malaria, which is a 50 per cent increase from current levels.

The countries World Vision is issuing programme responses to Covid-19 include Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, DR Congo, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Mainland China, Mongolia, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, and Thailand.

Globally, World Vision has experience and expertise helping communities prepare and respond to virus outbreaks. The charity has previously worked to combat the spread of Ebola in Africa and Zika in Latin American; and has educated thousands of communities in the developing world about the importance of hand hygiene, basic health care, and disease control. World Vision Ireland is calling on the Irish public to donate whatever they can to help the world’s most vulnerable children by going to www.worldvision.ie

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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