Rada Hallabi, 4, who is sick with diabetes, lies on a blanket in a refugee camp on the border with Turkey, near Azaz village, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. (AP Photo / Manu Brabo)
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Deaths from chronic diseases such as cancer and epilepsy have risen dramatically during Syria's civil war and are among the conflict's biggest killers as fighting blocks access to hospitals and medicine, a report published Monday says. With hospitals and primary health clinic regularly shelled, and ambulances occasionally directly targeted, the country's medical infrastructure has all but been destroyed. Civilians whose conditions were easily treatable in peacetime are unable to visit a doctor or find basic drugs needed to survive, leaving thousands to die, the report by Save the Children says.Before the war, health care was heavily subsidized by the Syrian state and many medicines were virtually free. The country also had its own flourishing drug industry, producing 90 percent of its own medicines.
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