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The situation in Gaza: humanitarian organizations caution of a potential increase in child fatalities that could have been prevented.
Middle East World News

The situation in Gaza: humanitarian organizations caution of a potential increase in child fatalities that could have been prevented.

According to Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the UN World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 160 children lose their lives every day, which equates to one child every 10 minutes. The UN Children’s Fund has also expressed concerns about the heightened risk of a large-scale disease outbreak in the area.

According to UNICEF spokesperson James Elder, if young people in Gaza do not have proper access to water and sanitation, there will be a preventable increase in the number of child deaths. Elder also mentioned that Gaza’s health authorities have reported over 5,350 Palestinian children who have died.

Mr. Elder expressed his distress over the rising number of child fatalities, stating that sorrow has become ingrained in Gaza. He issued a clear caution that if there is not enough fuel and water, the situation for children will drastically deteriorate.

The representative from UNICEF stated that there are currently 30 Israeli children who are being held captive in an unknown location, describing it as a nightmarish environment. The spokesperson then urged for their prompt release in order to spare them from experiencing fear and torment, which their families have already endured.

Hospital evacuation planned

At a press conference in Geneva, Mr. Lindmeier from the WHO stated that every 10 minutes, two children sustain injuries. He also noted that children and their families affected by the conflict are experiencing horrifying deaths.

The United Nations health organization reports that approximately 180 newborns are delivered daily in the conflict-ridden region. Over 20 of these babies require specialized treatment, similar to the infants at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. This past weekend, 31 premature and underweight infants in the intensive care unit were relocated. While the initial number of babies was 33, two passed away due to inadequate medical resources, according to Mr. Lindmeier.

The WHO representative emphasized the critical condition in Gaza, where only a small percentage of hospitals and clinics are currently operational. They also mentioned ongoing efforts to evacuate 200 patients and 50 health workers from Al-Shifa hospital, as a last resort.

Facing ‘certain death’

The speaker stated that when the individuals involved, including doctors, nurses, and patients, are requesting to be transported, it is a final measure. He explained that this indicates the situation has become extremely dire and the only other option is facing what they believe to be certain death.

Babies undergoing treatment at Al-Shifa hospital before being relocated.

© UNICEF/Eyad El Baba

The spokesperson for WHO clarified that these evacuations are very intricate and hazardous, necessitating collaboration with the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas “in order to reach a more secure location within Gaza.”

According to Mr. Lindmeier, the teams in charge of evacuation will require time, preparation, specialized equipment, and a safe route.

or medicine

Scarcely any water, fuel, food, or medicine.

The UN health agency reports that Gaza now has a large population of injured and seriously ill individuals. There has been a significant rise in illnesses like diarrhea and respiratory infections, due to severe shortages of water, fuel, food, electricity, and medical supplies.

Over 72,000 instances of upper respiratory infections have been documented in temporary shelters, with nearly 49,000 cases of diarrhea, more than half of which occurred in children under the age of five. This number is significantly higher than the average monthly cases of 2,000 reported before the war in 2021 and 2022.

The arrival of medical personnel and supplies.

Later in New York, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the United Nations, stated that on Monday, approximately 40 trucks transported medical supplies and 180 medical professionals into Gaza. This was done to set up a new Jordanian field hospital in Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza. The hospital will have a capacity of 150 beds.

On Monday, it was reported that the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahiya, located in northern Gaza, was targeted and attacked. The attack resulted in the death of twelve individuals, including patients and their companions, and multiple injuries were sustained.

This is the fifth instance where the hospital has been attacked since the beginning of conflicts last month.

According to him, hospitals and medical workers are safeguarded by international humanitarian law and all sides involved in the conflict must guarantee their safety. Military targets should not be concealed within hospitals in order to avoid attack.

UNRWA, the United Nations agency that provides support to refugees from Palestine, has also stated that approximately 93,000 individuals who have been displaced are currently being housed in 156 of its facilities in all five governorates of the Gaza Strip, including those in the northern region.

The United Nations is prepared.

Recently, there have been reports in the global media about a potential agreement between Israel and Hamas. The deal would likely include a trade of hostages and a temporary halt in hostilities for a period of four to five days.

When questioned about the UN’s humanitarian efforts in the case of a potential ceasefire, Mr. Haq stated that it was too early to discuss the matter.

“We are currently preparing to ensure that we are prepared in case there is a break in conflict, which is something we have been advocating for. This will allow us to provide humanitarian assistance more efficiently,” he stated.

A member of the WHO staff has been killed.

The WHO expressed sorrow over the loss of a team member who was fatally injured in Gaza on Tuesday.

Dima Abdullatif Mohammed Alhaj, age 29, was employed as a patient administrator at the Limb Reconstruction Centre. This center is a crucial component of the Trauma and Emergency Team of the World Health Organization. Dima had been working with the UN agency since December 2019.

Ms. Alhaj had fled Gaza City and sought refuge at her parents’ residence in the southern region, which was targeted by bombings on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, she, her husband, six-month old son, and two of her brothers all lost their lives. According to reports, more than 50 other relatives and members of the community who were seeking refuge in the same home also perished.

Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, the representative of the World Health Organization in the occupied Palestinian territory, described her as a remarkable individual who exuded positivity and respect with her bright smile and team-oriented attitude. Her contributions were vital, and she was asked to take on additional duties to aid the Gaza sub-office and team.

He offered his sincerest sympathies to her parents, who are both respected medical professionals in Gaza, as well as to her loved ones and numerous acquaintances.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the conflict has caused harm and casualties among the humanitarian community and the United Nations (UN). On Tuesday, two physicians from the medical organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) were killed, and to date, 108 employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) have also lost their lives.

“The tragic passing of Dima and her family serves as yet another illustration of the pointless casualties in this ongoing conflict,” stated the World Health Organization. “We implore once more for those with the ability to put an end to this conflict to take action.”