UNICEF:Syrian hospitals in dire need of medical equipmentListen /
Syrian babies are dying in large numbers for lack of critical life saving medical equipment such as incubators, according to the UN Children's Fund UNICEF.
A team from UNICEF which visited the Syrian province of Al-Raqqah says the general hospital there has only 14 functioning incubators with a waiting list of more than 60 babies.
Health workers interviewed by UNICEF also spoke of a high frequency of premature deliveries and miscarriage.
UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado says Syrian mothers have resorted to having their children wear plastic bags instead of diapers, as the country faces a critical shortage of hygiene supplies.
"Yesterday the Ministry of Health informed UNICEF that across the country, there are needs for 400 incubators. In the children's ward there were 120 beds but there were 200 patients, and in many cases the whole family staying with the patient in the hospital. Health workers also say that mothers are delivering earlier, and that many are miscarrying. In the week before the assessment, they said they had performed 58 Caesarian operations, which is more than double the weekly average for 2011. Some health, educational and water utility workers from Al-Raqqah have been injured or kidnapped in the rural areas and many of the areas surrounding Al-Raqqah are now no-go-zones." (Duration: 39")