As a result of Azerbaijan's blockage of the sole route—the Lachin corridor—linking Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Armenia for a period of eight months, there has been a severe shortage of medications and food, along with constant stress among the population. The Artsakh Ministry of Health has noted this in a statement. The latter continues as follows:
“This has led to an increase in the rates of several diseases and complications in besieged Artsakh compared to the previous year, in particular:
Among the total number of deaths over the seven months (January-July), there has been a recorded increase in mortality from cardiovascular diseases by more than 2 times. This includes a 66% increase in mortality from acute and chronic heart failure, a 20.8% increase in mortality from acute myocardial infarction, and an 8.8% increase in mortality from brain paralysis.
The mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases further increased in July, reaching a preliminary 2.6 times compared to July of the previous year. This includes 2.5 times increase in mortality from acute heart failure, 4 times increase in mortality from acute myocardial infarction, and 3 times increase in mortality from brain paralysis.
Over the course of seven months, the number of deaths caused by malignant neoplasms has increased by 15.9%. Among the reasons for the increased mortality, factors such as the shortage or absence of necessary medications, changes in quality of life, severe limitations on adequate medical assistance and reduced viability are highlighted.
During the same period, there has been an increase in new cases of acute cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) and acute myocardial infarctions among the population by 26% and 9.7% respectively.
From January to July, there has been a recorded increase of 24.3% in newly diagnosed cases of malignant neoplasms.
From January to July, compared to the same period of the previous year, the level of anemia among pregnant women under medical observation has reached around 90%. This is due to inadequate nutrition and the absence or insufficiency of appropriate medications.
Although there was no increase in the overall number of abortions during the first half of the year, there was a sharp fourfold increase in the number of medically indicated abortions in July. Stress, improper nutrition and the lack or absence of medications worsen the already distressing situation.
In July, there has been an increase in cases of fainting (collapses) reported by the Republican Emergency Situations Service. Compared to July of the previous year, cases of fainting have increased by 91%. Very often, there are cases where a person faints, but before the arrival of emergency medical assistance, the individual regains consciousness, and the incident is not actually documented.
In July, there was also a sharp 5.6-fold increase in emergency calls for cases of high blood pressure compared to the same period last year.
The increase in the mentioned and other indicators of mortality and morbidity is due to serious health problems caused by the blockade and subsequent complete siege of Artsakh. This includes the shortage or absence of medications and medical supplies, inadequate nutrition of the population, stress, suspension of scheduled surgeries and examinations, restricted access to medical care in Armenia and abroad, and so on.
The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Artsakh warns that in the event of the continued full siege of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, the mentioned and other indicators will further worsen, leading to the loss of many lives or a deterioration in their health.
The healthcare system is doing everything possible to mitigate the consequences of the serious problems it is facing. However, the complete blockade of movement of persons, vehicles and cargo through the Lachin Corridor makes it simply impossible to provide systemic and comprehensive healthcare solutions.”