NewsWHO Raises Concerns Over Deteriorating Health Crisis in Gaza Strip

WHO Raises Concerns Over Deteriorating Health Crisis in Gaza Strip

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Gaza City – The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners undertook a high-risk mission on Monday to replenish fuel supplies at Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, a region grappling with dire circumstances exacerbated by ongoing hostilities. With access for patients and supplies severely restricted, and healthcare workers managing with minimal resources, the situation in the few remaining hospitals in the Gaza Strip is increasingly critical.

The mission, conducted in collaboration with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, and Médecins Sans Frontières, delivered 19,000 liters of fuel to Al-Shifa Hospital. However, the mission faced delays at checkpoints, and the damaged roads leading to the hospital, coupled with the desperation of civilians in northern Gaza, posed additional challenges.

Despite improvements in functionality observed at Al-Shifa Hospital since the last visit ten days ago, the dire conditions persist. With a significant decrease in the number of displaced people, the hospital currently accommodates 120 health and care workers and 300 patients. Essential services, including basic laboratory and radiological facilities, emergency care, surgical units, and a dialysis unit, remain operational.

However, critical shortages in specialized medical staff, medicines, and supplies persist, with maternity and pediatric services non-operational. The hospital’s primary oxygen plant has been destroyed, relying on a smaller plant. Only seven out of 24 hospitals in northern Gaza are partially functional, with acute shortages in staff, medicines, medical supplies, fuel, clean water, and food.

In southern Gaza, hostilities and intensified military presence further compound the crisis, risking the safety of patients and health workers. The situation in hospitals in Khan Yunis is described as “catastrophic and indescribable.” Only seven out of 12 hospitals remain partially functional, and Al-Kheir Hospital, facing military incursions, is reportedly inaccessible, with detained health workers.

The Nasser Medical Complex, the largest hospital in the south, faces evacuation orders in surrounding neighborhoods and ongoing hostilities, preventing access for ambulances and injured patients. The WHO emphasizes the urgent need for a ceasefire in Gaza, active protection of civilians and healthcare facilities, and sustained access for critical aid delivery.

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