Middle East

MSF to open hospital for Syrian children in Jordan

Syrian refugees carry a box containing a gas heater after receiving it as humanitarian aid, at Al- Zaatari refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN: Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Wednesday it will open a hospital for Syrian refugee children at the Zaatari camp in northern Jordan, which complains its healthcare services are already burdened.

"MSF is now coordinating with the government to open the hospital in Zaatari in two weeks," Antoine Foucher, head of the organisation in the kingdom, told Health Minister Abullatif Wreikat, the official Petra news agency reported.

"In the beginning, the hospital will be have 35 beds. Later, the beds will be increased to 60, while obstetrics and gynaecology specialties will be introduced."

Foucher said five doctors and eight nurses will work at the 1.2-million-euro ($1.62-million) hospital.

Jordan says it is hosting around 350 Syrian refugees, including more than 90,000 at Zaatari desert refugee camp, near the border with Syria.

"The number of Syrian refugees in Jordan has become a serious burden that is larger than our capabilities," Wreikat was quoted by Petra as saying.

"Jordan needs assistance in order to continue providing medical services for the refugees."

The country provides free health and education services for more than 200,000 UN-registered Syrian refugees, according to officials.

The United Nations has predicted the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries will double to 1.1 million by June if Syria's 23-month conflict -- which it says has killed nearly 70,000 people -- does not end.





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