Scores of Syrians depressed

Gift of the Givers are treating scores of Syrian who are suffering from chronic depression.

Medical personnel carry in a victim who was wounded during the shelling of a town near Darkoush in Syria on 17 April 2013. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

SYRIA - The Gift of the Givers on Monday said aside from trauma patients, doctors in Syria have treated a high volume of people with ailments linked to poor living conditions and stress.

A South African medical team is on a humanitarian mission in Darkoush in northern Syria, an area controlled by rebel fighters.

The two year of civil war, sparked by anti-government demonstrations, claimed the lives of around 70,000 people.

Gift of the Givers Medical Coordinator Dr Yaacob Isak said between 30 and 40 percent of non-trauma patients are suffering from stomach ailments and medicine is in short supply.

Isak said the stress of war has also taken its toll.

"We're seeing quite a number of mental diseases in terms of depression. We're finding a number of people with mental depression here."

At least three million people have been internally displaced by heavy fighting and are now living in camps.

Large parts of the countryside have been left without access to healthcare.