Babies dying in Idlib hospital and child admissions from camps triple after another brutal week in Syrian conflict

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In a makeshift Syrian hospital, babies are dying.

The converted house in which doctors are trying to save lives has been adapted after relentless bombing in the city of Idlib.

Helpless children, born into this vicious war, are fast becoming victims.

Connected to repeatedly beeping machines by pipes and wires; Lujain's every laboured breath is a battle - one doctors never expected her to win.

Her life started two months ago in a fetid camp, just another hurdle for a tiny body fighting for survival against the freezing Levant winter.

With every rib protruding from her body and her skin hanging from her weak arms; she laid under the cold lights of the makeshift hospital, unable to blink.

Just a few hours after she was filmed by ITV News she passed away; another tragedy in the unrelenting Syrian conflict.

Lujain's every laboured breath is a battle - one she lost. Credit: ITV News

ITV News was granted rare first access to the makeshift hospital, adjacent to a camp, supported by the Syrian American Medical Society.

Doctors working for SAMS have seen the numbers of children being treated triple to 150 to 200 patients a day. An influx of people bombed from their homes and fleeing into camps is the reason behind the increase. But it's not the bombs directly bringing them here, but the abhorrent conditions in the camps they flee to.

More than half a million children are thought to be in also displaced in north-west Syria; aid agencies say suffering after nine years of conflict is at "unprecedented" levels.

But what should be a place of safety is not immune from the destruction of war. The hospital recently had to evacuate sick and dying children, sending them back to the camps amid an attack.

When they return to their makeshift homes, children are unable to deal with the brutal cold; as well as facing potential suffocation from fumes rising from plastic fires used to keep tents warm.

Mothers are delivering their babies prematurely; births brought on by the trauma of the bombing campaigns and life in the camps.

Premature babies suffering due to lack of basic medical facilities

Ratel, was born two weeks ago in the freezing camp. Her parents wait by her hospital bed for a miracle. Credit: ITV News

Wasif is just one of the babies born prematurely, his birth hastened by his mother's trauma.

As he entered his final hours, the care needed to help sustain such vulnerable children was unavailable.

Another child, Ratel, was born two weeks ago in the freezing camp.

In the tent which is her home, she went blue as she was being to fed and then started to fit. Doctors believe she may have brain damage.

Her parents looked on through the plastic incubator, the confines of the only world she may ever know. The beeping and droning of hospital machines are both a comfort and a terror for them as they hope and pray their daughter survives another day.

Nobody knows if she will live - and if she does, what fate she faces.

So far this month, a third of those among the 100 civilians killed in air and ground strikes in north-west Syria have been children.

"When I arrived at the hospital, I told them my daughter had died," her father, Ahmed Khalid Orabi, told ITV News.

"They took her to the incubator and they took the vital steps. After 10 minutes they told me my daughter had actually had a seizure."

Doctors struggling to keep up with dramatic rise in admissions

Dr Abdul Qader Razouk, a paediatrician with SAMS, said children are suffering because of the conditions they are living in. Credit: ITV News

Chest infections, exposure and now a lack of proper nutrition are the most common complaints for the SAMS medical staff to deal with.

UNICEF says some 30 per cent of children arriving into camps are already malnourished; more than 80,000 are thought to be sleeping rough in sub-zero temperatures, while more than 80 per cent of families have been displaced more than three times through the bombing campaigns.

Despite doctors best efforts, they're struggling to keep up, not aided by the poor conditions the children are staying in. The children's plight is not helped by the fact more than half of Idlib's health facilities are closed; SAMS told ITV News only 18 of the 40 are currently operating.

Dr Abdul Qader Razouk, a paediatrician with SAMS, said: "The severe cold has multiple effects on children, because the lack of heating and warmth.

"The primitive means of heating could lead to suffocation and inhaling contaminated air, in addition to other breathing problems like flu that happens in winter season."

Ghassan's family have been unable to get nappies for their son, he's now battling an infection. Credit: ITV News

So many families have been repeatedly displaced that they no longer have the most basic provisions.

Ghassan's family have been unable to get nappies for their son. Instead, they've been using bin liners and blankets. Because of the cold, they didn't wash him every day.

Their best efforts to keep their son alive has led to him getting a bowel obstruction. His story is not unique, but it is another heartbreaking example of the multiple threats now facing a population in crisis.

Calls for action from aid organisations and United Nations for action

Tensions in Syria show little sign of simmering, on Thursday evening the conflict was further fuelled after more than 30 Turkish soldiers were killed in an air strike by Syrian government forces.

Turkey has warned it is "no longer able to hold refugees" after it called an emergency NATO meeting as tensions rose on its border with the war-torn nation.

The head of SAMS, Dr Mufaddal Hamadeh, told ITV News he was "alarmed" by the early reports of neonatal baby deaths as a result of cold exposure and hypothermia after visited the facility filmed.

He attributed recent severe weather combined with shortages of medical facilities as the source of the three-fold rise in cases.

He said added organisation's staff are under "tremendous pressure" and "working tirelessly to accommodate increased needs" as a result of "continued attacks targeting hospitals and clinics".

The US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, called for action on the crisis.

In a striking Thursday tweet, she said: "Babies are freezing to death. Children are dying in airstrikes on schools. Millions face a critical shortage of medicine.

"This Council has a choice to make in Syria: feed the hungry, shelter the weary and heal the sick; or watch them suffer & die - and be remembered for doing so."