BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Sidon hospital hands over body of Syrian infant

Anas Tohmeh, the uncle of Lamar, carries her shrouded body ahead of the burial in a Sidon cemetery, Monday, May 5, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON: A Sidon hospital handed over the body of a Syrian infant to her family Monday after a lengthy ordeal in which the hospital refused to do so until her family paid all their medical fees.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees paid 75 percent of the medical bill but the hospital refused to hand over the baby’s body until the family paid in full.

“The hospital’s administration told us we needed to pay the full amount but we do not have any money,” Anas Tohmeh, the infant’s uncle, told The Daily Star.

The baby was born prematurely on March 14 and died two days ago. The hospital has since rejected pleas to hand over the body of Lamar to her parents for burial.

The hospital charged the family LL7,200,000 and the UNHCR paid three-quarters as part of the organization’s program to assist Syrian refugee families.

Tohmeh also pleaded with the Union of Aid Organizations in Sidon, which paid LL500,000 of the fees, leaving the family with LL1,300,000.

The hospital finally agreed to hand over the body to the family after several nongovernment organizations and Sidon residents pleaded with the hospital to release the body, and media reports began to surface.

The hospital denied it withheld the infant's body, saying the administration had only informed the family of the remaining amount to be paid.

Sidon Sheikh Salim Susan also agreed to allow the family to bury Lamar in the city's graveyard.

 

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