Premature births at Ukrainian maternity hospital double amid trauma of bombardment

ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy reports on how hospital staff in Ukraine are struggling amid the constant threat of bombs as the number of premature babies being born has doubled

In a dark corridor with sandbags covering the windows Dr Ivan Tsyganuk proudly showed me photographs of tiny babies who owe their lives to Ukraine's Pokrovsk Maternity Hospital.

They showed infants so tiny at birth they would fit in one hand, and other photos of how they had grown up.

He wondered where those babies were now, given so many families have fled to safer places.

Those thoughts couldn’t last long because upstairs were children who face similar challenges but have the misfortune to be born in a war.

Credit: ITV News

Despite so many leaving this region, the number of premature births the hospital is dealing with has doubled.

The trauma of constant bombardment sending woman into premature labour.

The maternity hospital is the only one left in the Ukrainian-held East of this country. Some have been bombed, others closed as staff left to save their own families.

Provosk is still under bombardment but functioning even though the electricity and water only work occasionally.

A mother and child inside the maternity hospital.

They have one room with no windows, natural births can happen in there if there’s bombing but that’s impossible for caesareans, which have to be delayed.

Staff live in at the hospital so they are on hand to pull incubators into corridors when the bombing is most intense.

It is a pitiful start to life for these tiny souls, but in a country where war brings so much death, staff are determined to cherish life.

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