Friday, May 04, 2007

And we have Paris in the headlines

Some 800,000 Russian children are living in orphanages, many abandon, neglected and some just left to die. And we have Paris Hilton and more U.N. propaganda on global warming in the headlines.



NPR : Russia's Halt on Adoptions Spotlights Conditions

Russian authorities have suspended the work of foreign adoption agencies. That has put into limbo the plans of many Americans waiting to adopt Russian children, even as human rights groups say a growing number of institutionalized children in Russia are living — and dying — in wretched conditions.

Most of the nearly 800,000 children called orphans in Russia still have living parents.
So these aren't just orphans, but also abandon or runaways.

A baby lies crying in a decrepit, wooden maternity hospital in Russia's poverty-stricken Far North. Many child advocates say places like these are where the problems start. Hospital staff often try to persuade parents of babies with disabilities to give them over to state care. Poverty and alcoholism also drive parents to abandon their children.

Sergei Koloskov, head of the Down Syndrome Society, says that contrary to government figures, the number of orphans in Russia is growing — and overloading the state's orphanage system.

"Healthy babies are lying in hospital beds all day as if they were sick, sometimes for months or longer," Koloskov says. "They're completely ignored. No one plays with them or provides any kind of stimulation. That happens because orphanages where they're supposed to go after birth are full."

Experts say that the lack of attention at an early age seriously harms a child's development. Elena Olshanskaya started a group of volunteers to help children in hospitals after noticing abandoned babies in rooms at the hospital where she gave birth.

"I was stunned," she says. "They were completely alone. They were fed several times a day and that was it. After a while, they just stop crying."

Last winter, another patient in a central Russian hospital noticed a room of abandoned babies with their mouths taped shut to stop them from crying. Her cell phone video shocked the country when it was played on national television. Reports of babies tied down in their cots are common. Many believe that's because hospital staff are seriously overworked.

1 comment:

Bear-i-tone said...

RE: the beginning of your article.

I believe Thomas Jefferson once wrote: "The man who does not read at all has a better education than a man who reads only newspapers."