Visualizing How Syria's War Undermines Health


Ongoing conflict in Syria dominates the headlines as the Islamic State (ISIL) advances. The hysteria over this newest terror threat is obscuring the continued suffering of innocent civilians. The war destroys lives not only through the bombs that rip through neighborhoods, but also through its destabilizing effect on the country’s health system and other essential infrastructure.

Before the civil war started the spring of 2011, Syria was among the most impressive health success stories in the Arab world. Out of all the countries in this region, Syria ranked third for gains in female life expectancy and fourth for gains in male life expectancy between 1990 and 2010 (see graphs below).

Between 1990 and 2010, Syria also succeeded in reducing early death and suffering from diseases primarily associated with poverty, such as lower respiratory infections (64% reduction), preterm birth complications (37% reduction), and diarrhea (54% reduction), which are shown in red in the screen grab below. All of these diseases tend to kill children.

Full article continues at: