The New York Times reports: Medical workers in parts of Syria have been forced to let the wounded bleed to death for lack of bandages, and have opted to use catheter bags meant for urine to administer intravenous fluids to newborns because proper drip bags are gone.
Expectant mothers in areas vulnerable to shelling and bombing give birth by cesarean section rather than risk natural childbirth in an attack. Malnourished children are eating animal feed and leaves, in some cases only miles from warehouses full of food. Families are burning mattress stuffing and plastic scraps for heat.
Those are among some of the details in a Save the Children report issued Tuesday night about the challenges confronting Syrian civilians in 18 areas across the country that the United Nations has defined as besieged, meaning they are surrounded by armed antagonists who have severely restricted aid delivery and freedom of movement.
At least a quarter-million children are among the inhabitants of such areas, which have been effectively turned into “open-air prisons,” the report said. It drew on data from the United Nations and other organizations, as well as Save the Children’s interviews with local aid groups, doctors, teachers and civilians, including 126 mothers, fathers and children who reside in these areas. [Continue reading…]