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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
World Health Organisation Press Release (WHO/32 2000)12 May 2000:
"The World Health Organization today warned the international community that the health situation of the civilian population in the areas of conflict in the north of Sri Lanka is under severe threat.
Lack of medical supplies, including basic child care drugs, means both government and voluntary health services in the area are no longer able to provide preventive and curative health services to the population. Even vaccines against childhood disease are in acute shortage, with the stock of polio vaccines completely exhausted.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the key international agencies supplementing the government efforts to provide health care to the civilian population, are no longer functioning due to lack of supplies. Dispensaries are closing down, oxygen will be out of supply within a week, and disposable syringes are out of date and are being sterilized and reused. There are no pre anesthetic drugs or painkillers for post operative care, nor are there injectable antibiotics and anesthetics. This means only emergency operations can be undertaken.
The population in northern Sri Lanka is especially vulnerable due to the large numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs), whose access to health services was already precarious before the current escalation of conflict. Malaria is highly endemic and on the rise, which poses a serious threat to the whole island since malaria control programmes have collapsed.
The World Health Organization appeals to all parties involved to urgently assist all health care providers in the affected areas to ensure they have the means to render proper health care to the civilian population."