Idelb: Saraqib Doctors Launch Revamped Nursery Section

The northern Syrian city, which suffered a chemical attack in 2013, has seen the development of the local hospital's nursery ward, which can now care for up to 20 inpatients

The voices of crying children can be heard while the doctor places a stethoscope on the chest of one of them, meanwhile a group of newborns sleeps in transparent incubators in the room next door.

A few years ago the nursery section of Al-Ihsan Hospital in the town of Saraqib in northern Idleb province consisted of three incubators that only received premature infants. On top of this, children could not be admitted as patients because there were no special rooms in the hospital.

Today, this necessary section exists as a separate wing of the hospital. In an interview with Iqtissad, Dr. Hassan Jaroud said that the section he supervises now includes nine incubators and three phototherapy units for children with jaundice, in addition to five rooms with beds for up to 20 children.

"The absence of a nursery section in Saraqib was bothering me and making me feel bad despite the difficulties and warplanes' campaigns on the city," Jaroud said.

"My determination was growing day by day to build a separate nursery section that meets the needs of Saraqib and its countryside, but we did not have financial support and a safe, air-conditioned place."

He said workers had already begun to voluntarily equip some rooms for the children's section, but said one day a young man appeared and donated two incubators to the facility.

After Jaroud praised the young donor on Facebook, other young expatriates began donating to the hospital too. The donations reached $8,000 over two weeks.

So far this has resulted in the renovation of a five-room practice, an ambulance room, two reception rooms for children, an incubator room and a nursing room. Jaroud says they are now awaiting the launch of a care unit and a child-specific ventilator in the coming period.

Despite the absence of any other incubators in the city, Jaroud says that the new project is sufficient for the needs of Saraqib and dozens of nearby villages.

Al-Ihsan Hospital offers free services, including all surgical and internal areas, and boasts a large staff of 18 doctors and nurses from all medical specialties.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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