Tuesday, February 11, 2014

UN doctor in Syria witnesses devastation

A UN doctor says internally displaced Syrian people told him of their experiences of severe food shortages in Homs and parts of Damascus.

Homs is besieged by government forces and parts of the capital city are blockaded.

Japanese doctor Akihiro Seita entered Damascus last month and asked local residents the situation there.
He spoke to NHK in Jordan about his findings.

He quoted the residents as telling him they have not gotten enough food for months. They also said they have eaten boiled weeds and soup that only contained spices.

Seita said he examined a mother and a baby who fled a blockaded area. He found the 14-month-old baby was so malnourished that it was the size of an 8-month old.

The doctor said the mother was unable to produce breast milk. He believes the baby would have died without the medical checks he provided.

He added many babies are dying due to the harsh conditions.

The UN and the Red Crescent began shipping food to Homs last week as per an agreement at last month's talks in Geneva between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition.

But the convoy took gunfire during a delivery on Saturday. It is uncertain if the mission can continue.