Hospital treats premature twins rescued from boat off Libya

Hospital treats premature twins rescued from boat off Libya
A man carries his five-day-old son after been rescued from a crowded wooden boat during a rescue operation at the Mediterranean sea on Monday. Pic: AP

Two Eritrean babies born prematurely on the migrant voyage from Africa to Europe are being treated at a hospital in Palermo, Sicily after being rescued at sea with thousands of other migrants.

The babies were only five days old when their mother boarded a boat with them in Libya, said Antonia Zemp, a medical coordinator with Doctors Without Borders, which took part in the rescue on Monday.

They were born at least a month early and one suffered from hypothermia, hypoglycemia and difficulties eating, said Ms Zemp.

The infants were evacuated to the hospital and put in intensive care, said the organisation.

The mother, Tesfamamrim Merhawit, 26, was also recovering in the Palermo hospital.

The baby boys were bundled in towels with a white bonnet covering the head of one.

They were rescued by the aid group Proactivia Open Arms off Libya and handed to a larger rescue ship belonging to Doctors Without Borders.

They were evacuated first to Lampedusa by boat and by helicopter from there to Palermo.

The baby who was vomiting had hypothermia and was non-responsive.

Tesfamamrim Merhawit, 26, from Eritrea, mother of two five-day-old babies, recovers in a hospital bed in the Sicilian city of Palermo. Pic: AP
Tesfamamrim Merhawit, 26, from Eritrea, mother of two five-day-old babies, recovers in a hospital bed in the Sicilian city of Palermo. Pic: AP

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