Tuesday 17 October 2017

Two-day-old baby dies in incubator after oxygen supply cut off by Syrian air strikes

A Syrian nurse stands next to incubators with newborns at a children's hospital in Aleppo. Photo: Getty
A Syrian nurse stands next to incubators with newborns at a children's hospital in Aleppo. Photo: Getty

Meadhbh McGrath

A two-day-old baby in an incubator has died after air strikes caused a loss of oxygen supplies in a Syrian hospital.

Up to 300,000 civilians were affected by a disruption to urgent medical care during the air strikes this week.

Four hospitals and a blood bank in the city of Aleppo were reportedly hit several times by strikes on July 23 and 24.

The hospitals affected were al-Dakkak, al-Bayan, al-Hakim and al-Zahraa in the al-Shaar neighbourhood of the city, which make up half of all health facilities in the area.

The baby was being treated in al-Hakim, the area’s only paediatric hospital, when it was hit twice in less than 12 hours.

WHO estimates that more than 40 attacks have been carried out on health facilities in Syria since the beginning of the year.

It is estimated that nearly 60pc of public hospitals in the country have closed or are only partially functional.

UNICEF, who offer support for the paediatric hospital where the baby died, has condemned the attacks.

The organisation said in a statement: “Attacks on health facilities are a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and can amount to war crimes. 

“Health facilities must never be attacked or damaged, and health workers should be allowed to provide medical treatment and services to all people in need wherever they are inside Syria.”

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