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Two Syrian refugee babies freeze to death in Lebanon


Lebanese medical sources say two baby girls born to Syrian refugees taking shelter in unheated tents set up on the rugged outskirts of the Lebanese border town of Arsal have died in freezing temperatures over the weekend.

On Sunday, a three-day Syrian girl died of pneumonia at a field hospital in Arsal, situated about 124 kilometers (77 miles) northeast of the capital, Beirut.

Doctor Kassem al-Zein, a Syrian doctor at the field hospital, said the baby contracted pneumonia and developed inflammation around navel after she was born in cold weather without proper medical attention.

He added that Arsal’s field hospital lacked the necessary equipment to treat her, so they decided to shift her to a hospital in Lebanon’s southern region of Bekaa. However, the poor baby lost her life before reaching the medical facility.

The development came a day after another Syrian refugee baby girl was pronounced dead upon arrival at Arsal’s al-Rahma hospital. Medical experts said she had frozen to death.

On October 23, Lebanese Information Minister Ramzi Jreij expressed concern about the influx of Syrian refugees, saying Beirut will call on the United Nations not to register any more cases in Lebanon.

More than one million Syrian refugees are currently taking shelter in Lebanon. The influx of Syrian refugees is exerting huge pressure on Lebanon’s poor infrastructure, education and health systems.

More than three million Syrians are said to have taken shelter in Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq as well as Lebanon since the outset of the crisis in Syria in March 2011.

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