Children in Syria suffer from "human devastation syndrome"

The term was coined by doctors from the Syrian-American Medical Society grappling with the psychological effects the war is having on children.

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Syrian men evacuate children from the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported government air strike on the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 25, 2017.

Dr M K Hamza, a neuropsychologist with the Syrian-American Medical Society, coined the term "human devastation syndrome" to describe the mental health of Syrian children who are the lucky ones – so far, they have survived the war.

The society's doctors say they needed a new term because what they're seeing in Syria far exceeds the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which are the benchmark for psychological damage caused by war.

The UN estimates that some six million children still need urgent humanitarian assistance in the war-torn country. And a recent UN report accused both sides in the Syrian conflict of war crimes, even as peace talks in Geneva are moving very slowly, if at all.

TRT World's Sara Firth has more on how children in Syria are suffering.