Doctors speak out against conditions on Nauru - Sarah Whyte for The Sydney Morning Herald

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Medical staff have criticised what they say are poor conditions at the Nauru detention centre.

Medical staff have criticised what they say are poor conditions at the Nauru detention centre. Photo: Angela Wylie
 

A medical team has described the "appalling" conditions at the detention centre on Nauru, saying there are not enough sanitary pads for women menstruating and children and women are forced to shower behind a flimsy curtain that often flies open in front of male guards.

Dr David Isaacs, a Sydney-based paediatrician, said he was shocked at the conditions the 895 asylum seekers lived in when he worked at the centre in December.

"Almost every child had behavioural problems relating to trauma and stress," he said. 

"It is hot all the time, it is dusty, with very poor facilities for washing," he said. "They will limit the amount of time you're allowed in the shower to two to three minutes because of water shortages, and then there is this distance between the showers and the tents. I was shocked by how awful it was."

Dr Isaacs said he felt compelled to speak out against the conditions, despite the contracts he signed before working on the small Pacific island.

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