3 infants said to die in a month in south Tel Aviv daycares
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3 infants said to die in a month in south Tel Aviv daycares

Meningitis outbreaks, inattentive caretakers and unsanitary conditions endanger migrants’ children, according to report

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative photo of a day-care facility in an apartment in the Shapira neighborhood of southern Tel Aviv, on May 14, 2012 (photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a day-care facility in an apartment in the Shapira neighborhood of southern Tel Aviv, on May 14, 2012 (photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Three children have died in the last month due to unsanitary and unsafe conditions in daycare facilities in south Tel Aviv, Haaretz reported Wednesday.

The centers, mostly serving children of African migrants, are notable for substandard conditions, which have led to outbreaks of disease and other ailments, according to the paper.

The first infant who died, who was five months old, fell asleep and got tangled in a plastic bag. The couple that run the daycare found him an hour later and though they rushed him to the hospital, he died three days later.

The second fatality was eight months old. She was left at her daycare for days on end when her mother got a job outside of the city. She became sick with the flu and yet still remained with other children until she died from complications of the disease.

The third baby was seven months old. He died in an outbreak of meningitis. Dozens of other children from his daycare center became sick with the infectious disease as well.

The report did not detail when the three died.

The affected daycare centers are located in south Tel Aviv, a poor area of the city which has become home to thousands of African asylum seekers over the last several years.

According to Haaretz, the daycare centers lack trained caretakers, activities for children, or the ability to help children with special needs.

Several NGOs are looking to raise funds to help the kindergartens and daycare centers.

As non-citizens, the African migrants are not eligible for free health care. The prohibitively high cost of heath insurance for refugees — NIS 200 (some $50) a month per child — means that 60 percent of the 4,000 children that use these daycare centers do not have health insurance, according to the paper.

Their parents, in addition, often have jobs that do not allow them to take days off to care for their sick children or even take time off if their child dies.

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