WHO seeks access to Syrians dying from heat, disease in south

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GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) called on Thursday for access to 210,000 displaced people who have fled fighting in southern Syria and are in urgent need of medicines and health services, including some injured requiring evacuation.

With temperatures soaring to up to 45 degrees Celsius (113°F), at least 15 Syrians, including 12 children, have died in the past week due to dehydration and diseases linked to contaminated water, the U.N. health agency said in a statement.

Three out of four public hospitals and health centers in Deraa and Quneitra are closed or only partially functioning, it said. “We call on all parties to open the door to people in southern Syria and allow the safe delivery of medicines and medical items they need, and to grant severely injured patients safe passage to hospitals outside the area that can save their lives.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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