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“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….
What options are there?
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