The pharmacy established in the countryside of Idlib province almost 5 years ago serves around 100 patients daily for free.
Idlib Province has been a centre of military conflict for years through the Syrian civil war and it is now be possibly the most prominent centre of the conflict today. The creation of a demilitarised zone around the Greater Idlib region has kept civilians inside the province with little access to trade routes with the outside world. This has limited the amount of trade going to and from Idlib, which has subsequently harmed the health sector, which is now run largely by charity groups.
Hundreds of people are thus dependent on the volunteering activities of health professionals, who themselves are struggling to stay afloat due to a lack of public funds and investment.
“My father and my mother are old and they take permanent medication for blood pressure, their heart, and diabetes. I get their medicine every month from here because the medicine is expensive and I cannot afford it. I get all their medicine from here”, said Muhammad Sabi, a resident of Idlib.
The situation of the health sector in Idlib has deteriorated to such an extent that pharmacies are functioning as hospitals. They are providing more or less the same services are hospitals now.
“Pharmacies have become complementary to the hospitals in terms of services in particular. The patient gets free services from hospitals but unfortunately, most hospitals in Idlib do not have pharmacies. The pharmacy is complementary to the patient’s free service”, noted Muhammad Alloush, another resident of the city.
The recent spread of the rule of the extremist group Hayy’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Idlib Province has yielded a further blow to the health sector in the region. The group has prevented the distribution of aid as it seeks to tighten its control of the province and give the local population no other option but to rely on internal aid providers. This has led to a growing humanitarian crisis in Idlib.