It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
GENEVA, April 12. /TASS/. Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) exhibited a lack of responsibility when they released allegations that almost 500 people asked for medical help in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7 with symptoms of poisoning. These actions by the WHO employees only serve to egg on those powers that are stoking the conflict in Syria, said Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, in a conversation with TASS.
Gatilov regarded the WHO’s statement as a serious one, highlighting that "it was made right when Syria had experienced a new uptick in tensions."
"We all have been hearing about the possibility of American strikes and the emergence of such a statement plays into the hands of those who strive for a scenario involving the use of force in Syria," the diplomat noted. "We consider it unacceptable."
"We reached out to WHO’s employees in charge and demanded that they present concrete sources of information on which this statement was based. Furthermore, [we] asked them to name the so-called healthcare partners that the WHO is referring to and to provide information on which specific medical facilities these almost 500 affected people turned to, who counted them and who made the diagnoses." "According to the information we possess, these ‘partners’ are none other than the representatives of the notorious White Helmets organization," Gatilov said.
"We regard all this as a flagrantly reckless dissemination of unsubstantiated information," Gatilov stressed.
A number of NGOs, including the White Helmets, stated that chemical weapons were used in Eastern Ghouta on April 7. The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed this report as fake news. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the White Helmets are an unreliable source of information and are notorious for disseminating falsified material. Representatives from the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Opposing Sides examined Douma on April 9, and found no trace of any use of chemical weapons there.
Russia and Syria have already invited experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to visit Douma in order to investigate the incident. OPCW reported that it would soon send a special mission to the site and asked the Syrian authorities to prepare for the visit.
Note to editors
Since 2012 there have been sporadic reports of chemical events in Syria. WHO has no formal role in the forensic investigation of the use of chemical weapons. When an event is reported, WHO’s role is to conduct epidemiological investigations and implement public health emergency response measures, as necessary. Prior to an event, WHO helps to put in place preparedness measures to ensure that needed medical supplies are on hand, and health workers are prepared, protected, trained and equipped to respond. WHO has been engaged in public health preparedness for chemical weapons use in Syria since 2012, when the first reports of their use emerged.
- WHO maintains strategic stocks of protective equipment for healthcare workers and antidotes that have been distributed alongside training to reference hospitals inside Syria.
- Over 800 Syrian clinicians have received advanced chemical training from WHO hubs in Damascus and Gaziantep, including 80 clinicians in northern Syria in the last quarter of 2017.
- Since 2014, antidote for nerve agents has been distributed in WHO shipments. In 2017 inter-agency convoys to besieged areas of rural Damascus, including Douma, have also included atropine, an essential medicine for nerve agent treatment. No antidote for chlorine or blister agents exists, and treatment is symptomatic.
- Beginning in June 2017, WHO started shipping medical kits to northern Syria for comprehensive treatment of chemical exposures. The kits include atropine, oximes, salbutamol, and other medicines.
- In 2017, WHO prepositioned and distributed 1,500 sets of Personal Protective Equipment at reference hospitals. In 2014, WHO also distributed 450 escape hoods to NGOs providing health services across Syria
- In areas that are inaccessible to WHO, we work alongside NGO partners to provide technical expertise and guidance, including through remote technical support and operational plans developed with and implemented by partners.
- In view of the substantial risks to humanitarian staff in Syria, WHO issued self-protection advice publically and standard operating procedures to its staff.
For further information, please contact
WHO Department of Communications
Mobile: + 41 79 367 62 14
Telephone: + 41 22 791 50 99
Talk of a U.S. attack on Syria is part of a“psychological war meant to project power that the West has lost,” Bouthaina Shaaban, Assad’s media and political adviser, said in an interview late Wednesday with Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen TV. She predicted the showdown would end with a diplomatic settlement, and accused Israel of instigating the confrontation.
Assad’s victory in the seven-year civil war “will change the map of the region,” and the “biggest loser” will be Israel, she said.
And I think the difference between the allegedly chemical attack and the US striking Syria is that they'll be focusing on military, not civilians.
The journal Nature has been most vocal, damning the WHO’s “cumbersome structure” and adding that the organisation, “far from being omnipotent and all-powerful… would benefit from trying to be a little less of both”.
Others have recently claimed that the WHO has lost authority, is “thinly stretched”, “not functioning well” and worse.
Much dates back to its poor response to the Ebola outbreak of April 2014, when it took until August to declare a global emergency, compounded by an underwhelming response to the 2009-10 H1N1 flu pandemic and latterly an underreaction to the health problems in the wake of the civil war in Syria.
There’s also a notion afoot that the WHO has moved from being a global health ambassador to a pernickety lifestyle watcher
Faced with a growing number of organisations in global health governance, the WHO has lost its supremacy
originally posted by: oldcarpy
a reply to: vinifalou
Well, if you choose to believe TASS over the WHO.....!!!!!