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Doctors in Gaza are fearful of a potential outbreak of a deadly disease and aid teams are working quickly to provide necessary medical supplies.
Middle East World News

medical supplies Doctors in Gaza are fearful of a potential outbreak of a deadly disease and aid teams are working quickly to provide necessary medical supplies.

The main focus is to deliver fuel to the northern region of the conflict-ridden area in order to support hospitals, ensure access to clean water, and sustain essential civilian infrastructure.

These services have been greatly affected by the Israeli airstrikes that were carried out in retaliation for the October 7 attacks by Hamas in southern Israel, resulting in approximately 1,200 fatalities and 240 people being held captive.

According to Gazan health officials, over 15,000 individuals, primarily women and children, have lost their lives in ongoing attacks.

Threats from the air and ground

According to UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson James Elder, a doctor from Al-Shifa hospital in southern Gaza provided an update stating that the main risks facing children are now both aerial and ground-based, specifically in the form of diarrhoea and respiratory infections.

“He expressed great fear as a healthcare worker regarding the disease outbreak that is present and the potential devastation it could cause to children who already have weakened immune systems and lack sufficient food,” stated Mr. Elder.

As discussions persist for the liberation of additional captives in exchange for an extension of the ceasefire, UNICEF expressed its dismay at witnessing numerous young individuals struggling to survive amidst the horrors of war. They are often found lying in car parks on makeshift mattresses or in gardens, forcing doctors to make difficult choices on who to prioritize for treatment.

Deadly delays

Another boy whose leg had been blown off in the violence had spent “three or four days” trying to reach the south, delayed by checkpoints, Mr. Elder continued. “The smell (of decomposition) was clear…and that boy had shrapnel all over. Potentially, he was blind and had burns to 50 per cent of his body.”

Expressing grave worries about the extent of necessities in Gaza, the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) stated that a survey conducted in the northern region at the beginning of the ceasefire on November 24th revealed that “all individuals are in desperate need of healthcare.”

Surgeons operate on a patient at Al-Quds hospital in Gaza. (file)

Doctors perform a surgical procedure on a patient at Al-Quds hospital in Gaza.

Starvation risk

In Geneva, Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for WHO, explained that people are suffering due to lack of food and clean water, as well as overcrowding. This means that if someone falls ill with a respiratory infection or if a child has diarrhea, they will not receive assistance.

The most recent report from the UN’s aid coordination office, OCHA, stated that delivery of relief supplies has been accelerated in the southern region of Wadi Gaza, where the majority of the approximately 1.7 million displaced individuals have taken refuge. OCHA also noted that essential service providers, such as hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, and shelters, have been receiving daily fuel deliveries to power their generators.


The head of the World Food Programme expressed that the situation is extremely dire.

The WFP, part of the United Nations, has provided food to over 120,000 individuals in Gaza during a temporary break in fighting. However, they report that the amount of food is not enough to meet the high levels of hunger within UN facilities and surrounding communities.

Corinne Fleischer, WFP’s Director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe Region, expressed that the current situation is devastating.

“We must take action to prevent the possibility of famine and starvation under our watch. This requires the ability to efficiently provide and distribute food on a large scale,” stated the speaker. “Six days is inadequate to meet the needs of those in Gaza. The people there must have access to food every day, not just for six days.”

“Our team observed hunger, desperation, and devastation. The individuals who have gone weeks without receiving aid were visibly suffering, as noted by Samer Abdeljaber, the WFP’s Representative and Country Director for Palestine. The temporary pause provided a brief respite and we hope it will lead to sustained peace. It is crucial that humanitarian aid continues to be delivered safely and without obstruction.”

This information is from the United Nations news website.