Sri Lanka: Children casulties mount due to shellings and diseases
Tamils children of the trapped "safety zone" are paying the high price for the shelling and lack of medicine & food.
The only makeshift hospital, which barely operates with few staff and no medicines, has resorted to primitive ways to save lives. The Sri Lankan government has expressed its discontent for the hospital to operate and has said the hospital is also a legitimate target.
Shelling, disease outbreak and malnutrition have caused many children deaths in the "safety zone" area.
The Sri Lankan government claims that the LTTE is at the verge of permanent collapse. Despite the claim, the Sri Lankan government continued to impose sanctions on the Tamils civilians in the "safety zone" in terms of food and medicines. The government also minimized the Tamils civilians escaping from the "safety zones" with humiliations and "strip & walk naked" plot carried out by the Sri Lankan army at the exiting checkpoints.
The most vulnerable patients, mostly children and elderly, are facing death due to even curable common diseases such as diarrhea.
The makeshift hospital struggles with the pouring in patients due to shelling and disease outbreak, and malnutrition; the hospital has 3 to 7 staff to provide services to the over 100,000 Tamils civilians in the "safety zone"; the hospital lacks of many basic medicines and anesthetics; the hospital is also frequently bombed and shelled by the Sri Lankan Army.
SLA offensive on civilian zone continues [TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 April 2009, 19:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) offensive units are continuously engaged in an offensive push, targeting Iraddaivaaykkaal junction from Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) Mullaiththeevu road, amidst heavy resistance by the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE), according to latest reports from Vanni. Stiff fighting was heard near Iraddaivaaykkaal junction, close to the entrance of the so-called safety zone. Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers attacked the area at least 6 times in the morning and helicopter gunships were seen firing rockets in the evening as Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) shells that hit Mu'l'livaaykkaal rocked the safety zone. As dead civilians were buried where they were attacked, only 83 wounded civilians managed to reach the hospital at Puthumaaththa'lan upto 5:00 p.m., according to medical sources.
Medical sources earlier reported that 12 wounded patients had died on their way and not brought to hospital. The hospital managed to send ambulances to Mu'l'livaaykkaal when the shelling ceased. Out of 83 admitted at the hospital, 6 died after admission, according to the medical authorities around 5:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, a 2-year-old baby girl, Sivagnanamoorthy Prasitha, affected by diarrhoea died at the hospital Wednesday. Many children have been affected by malnutrition and diarrhoea. The situation was deteriorating as humanitarian supplies were not being brought according to the requirements, medical sources said.
Children's ward at the hospital was full of wounded and sick.
The doctors were not able to save the life of a two and a half month old baby, Sakila, admitted at the hospital after severe malnutrition. The baby died on Tuesday.
Also, 4 post-operative patients died at the ward.