- Title: Medicine for all: Syrian doctor distributes drugs to those in need
- Date: 1st July 2020
- Summary: Â DAMASCUS, SYRIA (JUNE 28, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SYRIAN DOCTOR, MOHAMAD ALI AHMAD, TALKING WITH WITH PATIENT WHILE CHECKING PRESCRIPTION VARIOUS OF AHMAD PICKING OUT MEDICINE NEEDED BY PATIENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN DOCTOR, MOHAMAD ALI AHMAD, SAYING: "The initiative grew largely because of the efforts of fellow doctors and pharmacists who provided us with free samples in the beginning. Then we implemented participatory efforts to provide medicine through citizens who came to pick up the medicine they need and donate the ones they don't need. This is how the initiative continued, by the solidarity of the people and their support to the online pharmacy project." BOXES OF MEDICINE VARIOUS OF SIGNS READING (Arabic): "DR. MOHAMAD ALI AHMAD'S CLINIC" AND "ONLINE CLINIC" "PARTICIPATORY MEDICINE INITIATIVE" (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN DOCTOR, MOHAMAD ALI AHMAD, SAYING: "During this difficult period we are going through, and with the effects of the siege targeting the people - a siege that has been going on for nine years and is getting more challenging. (The siege) first targeted our bread, it is now targeting our medicine. There is no doubt that this siege has a large impact on the availability of medicine, and this needs initiatives and support from the local community, to stand with the government." AHMAD AND ASSISTANT AT CLINIC VARIOUS OF AHMAD WRITING PRESCRIPTION (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN DOCTOR, MOHAMAD ALI AHMAD, SAYING: "Everyone has a right to get their medicine - those who can afford it but can't find a way to get it, and those who can't afford it." VARIOUS OF AHMAD HANDING OUT MEDICINE TO SYRIAN MAN, OSAMA TUTANJI (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN MAN, OSAMA TUTANJI, SAYING: "There are people from Latakia who ask me to get medicine for them, so I come here to the doctor to collect them and then send it via a shipping company." JOURNALIST ASKING: "You will ship it on your own expenses?" "Yes sure." VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEER, ANAS HANNOUN, AND OTHERS COLLECTING MEDICINE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VOLUNTEER, ANAS HANNOUN, SAYING: "We called Dr. Mohamad and he gave us the medicine to distribute to families who have no provider, as well as martyrs families." VARIOUS OF BOXES OF MEDICINE PEOPLE COLLECTING MEDICINE
- Embargoed: 15th July 2020 15:38
- Keywords: Syria clinic doctor healthcare medicine
- Location: DAMASCUS, SYRIA
- Reuters ID: LVA001CKZBADX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: After witnessing a shortage in medication across the Syrian capital, a doctor decided to launch an initiative to make sure that people have access to the medicines they need.
Mohamad Ali Ahmad, who is in his thirties, set up a Facebook page where some people can post about medication they need, and others post about extra medicine they have lying around at home.
Ahmad, with the help of volunteers, then redistributes the medication from those who have excess to those in need.
"Everyone has a right to get their medicine - those who can afford it but can't find a way to get it, and those who can't afford it," said the doctor.
Over a period of three weeks, Ahmad managed to distribute medicine to dozens of families in need in Damascus and its suburbs .
As well as individual donations, companies and charities also stepped up and joined the cause.
Still, the doctor said it was a challenge keeping up with everyone's needs.
The United States imposed its toughest sanctions yet on Syria last week. This - in addition to the country's drawn out war and the outbreak of the coronavirus - has contributed to shortages in medication in the country.
Washington says the sanctions mark the start of a sustained campaign of economic and political pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to stop the war and agree to a political solution.
(Production: Kinda Makieh, Firas Makdesi)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None