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Infant dead in Ritsona camp, parents arrested: How many words is a refugee baby worth?

A 2-month-old infant died in Ritsona refugee camp of Saturday, January 28th. The baby was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, respiratory problems and frequently needed oxygen support. Right after the baby’s death, Greek police arrested the parents, Syrians of Kurdish origin, on charges of child neglect.

Greek media reported that “the infant’s health condition had deteriorated in the last days prior to her death,” that the parents took the baby to Chalkida hospital where doctors diagnosed cystic fibrosis and advised the parents to take the baby to a Children’s Hospital in Athens,” some 100 km away. “But the parents ignored the doctors’ advise and returned to the camp together with the baby.”

“A tragedy” in one of the many refugee camps, a baby without a name.

A couple of sentences, a few paragraphs. The same sentences and the same words whether on online media or on television news.

With exception of private STAR TV, hardly a news outlet bothered to further investigate the issue.

Apparently it was just a refugee baby with a short life. It was one of the more than 60,000 souls stuck in Greece.

Parents lost in transaltion

In an exclusive interview with the baby’s father Star TV reported that it was probably a problem with the communication between the parents and the doctors with no translator around.

The father said that they were not sure what was going to happen, whether an ambulance would take the child or not, what it should have been done.The father said that an ambulance would need two hours to arrive at Ritsona camp.

“A translator might have save the infant’s life had he explained to the parents that they should not have left the hospital” is the conclusion of Star TV that noting that the mother had sought the help from the UNHCR, the Red Cross and those in charge of the refugee camp.

Citing sources of the Greek Health Ministry, Star TV says that “also in the past the parents had taken the infant to the camp despite the hospital doctors’ advice.”

The absence of translation is only one of the aspect of the tragedy

The story has a second narrative. With more details. With partly shocking details. Because it shows that despite the million of euros poured in the Refugee Crisis, emergency situations are still hard to be dealt with.

The long short-life of baby Noursan

“2 months old infant died yesterday in Ritsona camp: Deliberate false news and misleading the public by those involved, while prosecuting parents. On January 28th the media after disinformation and dissemination of false news spread that the Syrian Kurdish female baby from Ritsona lost her life and parents at 10 in the morning of January 28 were taken to the police station of Chalkida on charges of child neglect.

Baby girl Noursan was born on November 26 2016 in the hospital of Chalkida. From the day of birth was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, respiratory problems and frequently needed oxygen support. On 02/12/2016 the child entered Agia Sophia children’s hospital where he was admitted for 24 days and left on 27.12.2016.

All this time from 27.12.2016 and after the baby come and go in the hospitals of Athens was hospitalized again in Paidon Agia Sofia and Aglaia Kyriakou where upon examination and after hospitalized one day returned to the 1/12/2017 in Ritsona. There he visited doctors of the Spanish Red Cross, who insisted that the child should be within the urban fabric to have easy access to the hospital.

Desperate parents pressed and implored those responsible of IOM and NGOs to find them a home in Chalkida (like they did for other refugees as they had to), and they ignored them and postponed it from day to day, tottaly indifferent. The baby was diagnosed with congenital cystic fibrosis and needed oxygen support, which does not and did not exist in the camp of Ritsona.

On 24/01/2017 the parents contacted once again the doctors of Ritsona and finally received a written confirmation that they should be relocated immediately near the hospital (following document).

One day later, 01.25.2017, the infant was transferred from the mother due to lack of oxygen in Chalkida hospital where after the tests said they would call ambulance without informing them of where and why.

The woman stayed outside clinic with the baby in his arms from 10 am to 9 pm waiting for the ambulance and all this time often bothered the doctors about the incident. The last time, she talked to a doctor who told her that the child is well without giving them further instructions. So as there was no ambulance, the mother returned to Ritsona with a taxi.

On 27/01/2017 at 10 in the morning (opening working hour for Red Cross doctors) she visited them and told them that the baby was not well and that she was told by hospital if worse to call an ambulance. In the afternoon, while the doctors departed, she kept on calling those responsible for the camp (doctors and managers from IOM and NGOs) and nobody answered. Around 1150 she called an ambulance which never arrived, so around 12 to 1215 she and her grandmother called a taxi and the grandmother transferred the infant (parents remained in the isobox in the camp under huge shock among friends, relatives and neighbors) and en route to the hospital infant passed away, two kilometers before arriving.

It is significant that all this time that parents experiencing this discomfort in Athens and Chalkida hospitals having also another two minor children, no translators for the longest time, no money and food, despite the desperate appeals to those responsible. Please also note that Ritsona doctors, nurses and managers work from Monday to Friday 10 am to 16:30 pm.

Criminal responsibilities for those responsible for the camp, media and all those involved at the time trying to shirk responsibility, to disorient the fact through the media and maliciously accuse the infant’s parents dragging them on 28/01, 10am to Chalkida police station, for minor neglect.

Conclusions are yours own

Also, mention that in the past there was criminal negligence of those responsible for infectious and other diseases which have been reported to Chalkida prosecutor.

Chalkida Solidarity Initiative to refugees-immigrants / s.” via

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