WHO mourns loss of team member killed in Syria

Statement by Dr Hanan Balkhy, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean

Engineer Shehab from Syria26 March 2024– On behalf of the World Health Organization, it is with profound sorrow that we announce the tragic loss of one of our dedicated team members, Engineer Emad Shehab, in Deir-ez-Zor City, Syria, who lost his life in the early hours of Tuesday morning when his building was struck during a series of airstrikes across the Governorate. We extend our deepest condolences to Eng. Shehab’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time.

Eng. Shehab, 42, served as a WHO focal point for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in Deir-ez-Zor since 2022. He was a highly skilled professional who brought unwavering commitment and expertise to his role. His contributions to improving WASH conditions in health facilities, particularly his pivotal role in renovating the sewage system at Al Assad Public Hospital, were invaluable. His work on water quality testing in Deir-ez-Zor – located directly along the Euphrates River – was a critical part of outbreak detection and early response, including the cholera outbreak in Syria. Colleagues remember Eng. Shehab as tremendously dedicated to this work – spending hours in the field, often under challenging circumstances, and even occasionally hand-carrying water samples to central laboratories when necessary to ensure timely testing.

Eng. Shehab earned his bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from Aleppo University. Prior to working with WHO, he had extensive experience in engineering and project management working with

Read more…