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Syrian war taking huge toll on children.

The conflict in Syria is resulting in devastating health consequences for the nation's children, according to a new report from Save the Children.

In addition to a severe lack of medical and health resources, deadly diseases such as measles and polio are also re-emerging. The report warns that up to 80,000 children are likely to be infected with the most aggressive form of polio. In the first week of 2014, eight cases of measles were documented among children younger than 5 years old, whereas in 2010 a total of 26 measles cases were reported throughout the entire year.

Lack of basic infrastructure and resources are wreaking havoc as well. The March report chronicles children undergoing amputation because clinics do not have the necessary equipment for treatment, and newborn babies dying in their incubators during power outages.

"This humanitarian crisis has fast become a health crisis," said Roger Hearn, Save the Children's regional director. "Children inside are enduring barbaric conditions. Simply finding a doctor is a matter of luck; finding one with the necessary equipment and medication to provide proper treatment has become almost impossible. The desperate measures to which medical personnel are resorting to keeping children alive are increasingly harrowing."

Across Syria, 60 percent of hospitals are damaged or destroyed, and nearly half of the country's doctors have left the country. Save the Children reports that more than 5 million Syrian children need help with basic needs, such as health care and food.

For more information on how to help or for a copy of "A Devastating Toll: The Impact of Three Years of War on the Health of Syria's Children," visit

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Title Annotation:GLOBE IN BRIEF
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:May 1, 2014
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