A daring operation successfully delivers much-needed fuel to Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza.
The mission deemed “high-risk” that took place the day before was faced with delays at the checkpoint and roads that were significantly damaged. Additionally, a large number of famished civilians surrounded the UN vehicles and fuel truck in a desperate attempt to find sustenance and hydration, causing further delays in the journey.
The team announced that the hospital’s operations have gotten better since the previous humanitarian mission 10 days ago. There has been a notable drop in the number of displaced individuals taking refuge there, going from 40,000 to 10,000.
Some services operational
There are 120 employees at Al-Shifa who provide healthcare services to 300 patients. On a daily basis, between five and 10 surgeries are performed, mostly for urgent trauma cases.
Basic laboratory and radiological services, emergency care, a surgical unit with three operating rooms, post-operative care, and a dialysis unit are still operating. There are also plans to resume operations of a nine-bed intensive care unit (ICU) within the next few days.
Unfortunately, there are currently no services available for maternity or pediatric care. Additionally, there is a lack of specialized doctors, medicines, and essential medical supplies such as orthopedic equipment.
“The potential for these units to be functional once more exists, but it will necessitate a steady provision of fuel, oxygen, medical supplies, and additional assistance,” stated the WHO. Additionally, the main oxygen facility was demolished, leaving the hospital dependent on a smaller alternative.
Healthcare under fire
The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to bring awareness to the grave condition of the healthcare system in Gaza. Despite nearly four months of conflict, only 14 out of 36 hospitals are operating at limited capacity.
Increased military activity and conflict in the southern region is causing significant disruption to the transportation of healthcare workers, ambulances, and UN partners, as well as hindering their ability to restock hospitals. Staff from the agency reported that the state of hospitals in Khan Younis is dire and beyond words.
The World Health Organization has expressed serious worry about the situation at Al-Kheir Hospital, a small facility run by an NGO. There have been reports of the hospital being targeted by military forces and some of its health workers being taken into custody. Communication with the hospital is currently not possible.
Staff digging graves
According to health authorities in Gaza, a significant number of injured individuals are currently located on the premises of Nasser Medical Complex, the biggest hospital in the southern area. This is due to evacuation mandates in nearby neighborhoods and ongoing conflicts in the surrounding area.
According to the UN health agency, UK Med, a global emergency medical team stationed at Nasser, reports that the facility is inaccessible due to ongoing nearby bombings.
According to reports, hospital personnel are digging graves on the hospital premises in anticipation of a high number of deaths and the need to handle deceased bodies. This is an alarming situation that should not occur in any medical facility.
The World Health Organization issued a warning that Al-Amal Hospital is in danger of no longer being able to operate properly. According to reports, ambulances and injured patients are unable to reach the hospital.
The United Nations organization repeated its demand for a prompt halt to fighting, safeguarding of innocent civilians and healthcare, and continuous allowance for the distribution of vital aid throughout the Gaza Strip.