Newborn baby dies in Syria's besieged Madaya

Newborn baby dies in Syria's besieged Madaya
A newborn baby and an elderly man have died due to medical negligence in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya.
2 min read
13 April, 2016
The crisis in Madaya made international headlines earlier this year [AFP]
A four-day-old baby girl died in Madaya, west of Damascus in southern Syria on Tuesday evening, due to a lack of medical care and malnutrition, adding to the growing concerns of civilians living in the besieged town.

"The lack of medical care caused by the blockade imposed by the Syrian regime and Hizballah militias led to the death of the baby," confirmed Dr Mohammed Yusuf, from a medical centre in Madaya.

"The mother of the baby has not received the necessary medical care because of a medicine and medical staff shortage" he said, adding that malnutrition was affecting many of the town's residents.

An elderly man also died in the town, following a long illness which was not treated, Yusuf revealed.

"The medical services in the city directed several calls to the Red Crescent to get him out of the city for medical treatment in Damascus but no one responded," he said.

"All attempts to get him out were rejected by the regime and Hizballah militias."

Starving Syria
- Surrender or starve in besieged Syria
- Displaced Syrians begin hunger strike in solidarity with Madaya
- Diary from Moadamiyeh, a besieged Damascus suburb
- Social media reacts to the starvation of Madaya
- Starved into accepting 'a political solution' in Syria
- For many in Madaya, emergency aid is too late
- Hizballah supporters taunt starving Madaya residents with pictures of food
- British public petition government for Syria food drops
- Convoys to deliver aid 'simultaneously' to besieged towns
- Hundreds of Syrians need urgent evacuation from Madaya, says UN
Last week Jan Egeland, who heads a UN-backed humanitarian taskforce for Syria, said "a very major" medical evacuation was planned for Madaya and Zabadani – two towns near Damascus blockaded by the regime and their allies – and Fuaa and Kafraya, besieged by rebels in Syria's northwest.

"All together it could be up to 500 people," he told reporters in Geneva following a meeting of the taskforce, adding the aim was for the evacuations to begin "within the next week."

Egeland said the move was desperately needed, pointing out that three boys recently bled to death in Madaya because Hizballah, which is besieging the town, ignored "desperate pleas for them to be evacuated" after they touched an undetonated explosive that went off.

A report earlier this year found that more than one million Syrians are trapped in besieged areas, challenging figures previously estimated by the United Nations.