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Treatment denied to cancer patients in Northwest Syria: protests at Turkish border

Hundreds of cancer patients are dying without treatment in Northwest Syria: many of them, along with local activists, demonstrated at the border with Turkey to demand immediate action. After five days of protest, gradual entry into Turkey was granted today to 70 to 80 patients a week. There are currently 91 children, 235 men, and 282 women in northwestern Syria who have no access to any treatment.

«It is really difficult to witness this situation. These people are dying, they know they probably cannot be saved, but they want to fight so that others can have access to the treatment denied to them,» says Abdulkafi Alhamdo, Program Manager of Still I Rise in Northwest Syria, who took part in the protest. «Thanks to our protest, within the next two months all patients should be able to enter Turkey. It is a long time, but we really have no other alternative. The problem now is the long term: we continue to be kept in check, and with less and less aid from the international community, we have no hope for the future.»

Medical infrastructure in the area is almost nonexistent, and treating cancer patients is not possible. Before the earthquake, Turkey allowed some people to enter to be treated in its hospitals: after February 6 and until now, cancer patients have been unable to receive any treatment. A situation that once again confirms the extent to which the people of northwestern Syria are solely functional to the geopolitical interests of international actors, as also highlighted by the recent failure of the UN Security Council to renew its authorization to use the Bab al-Hawa corridor for the delivery of vital humanitarian aid due to Russia’s veto. (Press release)

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