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Syria – nephrology in crisis

I was recently adjourned by John Feehally – who had a mail exchange with fellow nephrologists from Syria – about the desperate and tragic situation in the country. We have all seen the news broadcasts that describe the terrible consequences of a war that does not seem to come to an end.

However, it is very shocking to learn how difficult it is for our colleagues to try to keep going their dialysis services and providing treatment for many patients. Dialysis centers in the Northern regions of Syria, that used to provide treatment for many patients, were shut down.

The remaining ones are facing severe lack of supply and spare parts of dialysis machines, which are overused due to the congestions of the functioning facilities. The cost of supply and consumable is increasing, as it happens in war for obvious reasons. Electricity and water supply is often interrupted, making the dialysis impossible to carry on.

The consequences of all of this is that patients on regular dialysis are dying because they cannot reach the dialysis centers, because of the fighting. The Syrian colleagues cannot provide detailed data on the number of deaths, but we have no difficulty in thinking that any number would be in defect.

Among the thousands of reasons why, we as citizens and physicians, despise and hate war and warmongers, the unique vulnerability of renal patients is one of the strongest.

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