Health workers resuscitate young children after rescuing migrants in the Canary Islands


© Reuters. A baby is resuscitated after disembarking from a Spanish coast guard ship in the port of Arguineguin


From Borja Suarez

ARGUINEGUIN, Spain (Reuters) – Spanish health workers have resuscitated a toddler among 52 sub-Saharan African migrants rescued from the Atlantic island of Gran Canaria on Wednesday, a Reuters witness and Spanish authorities said.

Shortly after a Coast Guard boat carrying migrants, many of whom were hypothermic, docked in the port of Arguineguin, Gran Canaria, two Red Cross medics rushed in and began CPR- Perform chest compressions.

“Call an ambulance, call 112,” says one of the health workers, before both of them say, “She’s alive,” with relief. Other health workers took the child, wrapped in a red blanket, to an ambulance, according to Reuter’s recordings.

The toddler was one of ten people, including six children and a pregnant woman, who had to be hospitalized for hypothermia, according to Canary Islands Ambulance Services.

Other migrants waited patiently on deck while those in need of medical assistance were brought ashore.

The number of undocumented migrants arriving in the Spanish Canary Islands increased eightfold in the past year from 2019. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism and other industries in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa has prompted many more to embark on the dangerous journey.

Hundreds died or went missing last year after trying to cross Spanish islands in the Atlantic, often in wobbly, overcrowded boats with unreliable engines, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said.

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