Syrian babies 'dying in incubators due to power cuts'

Newborns freezing to death in hospital incubators, patients opting to be knocked out with metal bars for lack of anesthesia, surging cases of polio.

A new report published by charity Save the Children paints a dire picture of Syria's collapsing healthcare system.

A baby survivor at a hospital in Aleppo Credit: REUTERS/Hosam Katan

The report, issued by charity Save the Children, said some 60 percent of Syria's hospitals have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the three-year-old conflict and nearly half of its doctors have fled the country.

In Aleppo, one of the worst-hit cities, only 36 of its 2,500 doctors remain.

The report says increasing numbers of children are suffering and dying from diseases that would have been previously treated or prevented.

Up to 80,000 children across the Syria have contracted polio, even though the illness was eradicated across Syria in 1995.

Over 140,000 people have died in the war, which started as a peaceful protest movement against President Bashar al-Assad and degenerated into civil conflict.