The paramedics’ logbook at Al-Hol camp in eastern Syria documents the injuries and ailments of infants, who were rushed from the battlefield to its crowded, dirty clinic. Most of the children reported of malnourishment, impeded growth, broken leg.
Those in crucial need – mostly bony babies born in war to the wives of dead Islamic State rebels were taken to the nearest hospital, a bumpy two-hour drive away. Other people were seen to be crowded into a waiting room with a tin roof in a growing queue for basic medical treatment.
At the hospital, staffs have had to build two port cabins on the roof that act as a makeshift ward for the treatment of malnourished babies, which is crammed sometimes two or three to a cot. Lower floors are brimming with teenagers who have their limbs missing and women with severe shrapnel and bullet wounds.
The flight during violent fighting of over 60,000 people from Islamic State’s final redoubt of Baghouz is overwhelming medical staff in eastern Syria who struggle to survive at the camp and ill-equipped hospitals.
Scores of people, chiefly children, have died on the 150-mile (240-kilometer) journey to al-Hol or soon after arriving.
In the waiting area, dozens of people who mostly abandoned Baghouz during a brief ceasefire last month arranged for civilians and surrendering rebels to pull out, sit on wooden benches or the concrete floor.
U.S.-supported forces announced the defeat of IS’s self-declared caliphate in March– the territory it once used to hold in Iraq and Syria after rebels were driven out of the village of Baghouz where they made a months-long last stand.
The severe bombardment and battle to displace the Sunni Islamist extremist group cost countless lives and injured many more people, which includes the wives of fighters, their children, IS supporters and other civilians trapped by the militants in the enclave.
However, only local hospitals can look after severe cases.