The parents of 8-month old Amjad Aalawayn came to the Caritas Lebanon Migrant Centre in Zahle in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon on Wednesday 3 April looking for help for their sick baby. The family were Syrian refugees, fleeing the fighting in their country. The baby was pale, listless and had no appetite.
They came to Caritas after one hospital had refused to admit Amjad because of money issues. A Caritas social worker contacted a paediatrician to transfer him to a hospital, but sadly he passed away while waiting for medical assistance.
Our social worker contacted the hospital where he was transferred, whereby they confirmed the death of 8-month old Amjad. No cause of death was declared as was dead on arrival. May this angel’s soul rest in peace, a peace he certainly didn’t find in here.
Many sick children have been referred to Caritas from the same camp with similar symptoms. Syrian refugees don’t get enough medical assistance.
Najla Chahda, Director of Caritas Lebanon Migrant Centre, said, “There is an urgent need to provide medical assistance for these children quickly. We hope that a solution would be found soon to all Syrian refugees and put an end to their suffering.
Today, the Caritas team went on-site to check the situation in the settlement where Amjad’s family is living. It seems that one child was diagnosed with tuberculosis and discharged from hospital where he stayed for two days, due to lack of money. There are lots of children and adults showing mild similar symptoms, but at least six children and two to three adults are sick.
We immediately notified the IMC team who promised to go on field immediately. We fear an outbreak of this highly contagious disease, especially when considering the deplorable sanitary conditions experienced by the refugees living in this location.