RAQQA, Syria — Three years of ISIS occupation followed by a four-month fierce
bombardment of Raqqa by the US-led international anti-ISIS coalition has left
the local health system in shambles.
“We lost our home, furniture, and our money. The situation
is too bad, the health is too bad, the water is bad, the medicine is bad too.
It takes two days to see a doctor. When you see the doctor, there is no medicine,”
said Fathiya Adoon, a local of Mosul.
There were 3 hospitals and 39 health stations in Raqqa
before the conflict. Now, there is only one hospital and 9 stations.
“I work 2-4 days, then I’m idle for another 10 days. I was
working for a man for the sake of my children, but finally he told me to leave,”
said Adnan Khalid, who has two children and was waiting in front of a hospital
for his third.
1,500 babies are born in Raqqa every month.
Some non-governmental organizations are active in the city,
but they aren’t able to fill the humanitarian gap.
“The aid given by the NGOs is inadequate. The aid did
nothing for the people. You know the country is ruined and the city as well.
According to all measures, the health care system is too bad and the aid
provided is inadequate,” said SB Ali Badri, a local health official.
Rebuilding Raqqa and its infrastructure has been the task of
the Raqqa Civil Council; although, they lack resources. As part of the council, the Raqa Reconstruction Committee is busy repairing basic infrastructure like power and water.
Security is provided by the Raqqa Military Council that is supported by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the coalition.
“The situation is not good and we don’t have basic services.
There is no health system here,” said Omer Ali, a local.
It has been 13 months since the city was liberated from
ISIS. The Syrian regime maintains no presence and the international coalition
has had limited success encouraging regional countries to contribute to the uncertain
“You should have money. We’ve done a surgery today. It cost
150,000 Syrian pounds ($291). If someone doesn’t have this amount, where will
he get it? Where will he go? What will he do?” posited Ali.
“The government hospitals have been closed. If someone has a patient, he’ll die in front of his eyes and he can do nothing,” he added.