WHO warns that the combination of war and health crisis in Gaza is a dangerous situation that could lead to outbreaks of epidemics.
Dr. Mike Ryan from the World Health Organization spoke to reporters at the United Nations building and expressed concern for the safety of numerous children who are caught in the crossfire of ongoing conflict between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces. These children are at risk of being taken as hostages or facing constant bombardment without adequate shelter.
He stated that there are potentially 1,500 children in Gaza who are still missing, with many possibly trapped under debris. The health care system is also under immense strain.
According to reports, due to the ongoing conflict, medical personnel remaining at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza may need to be evacuated in the coming days. This comes after the evacuation of numerous patients from Al Shifa, the largest hospital in the area, over the weekend.
The regional office of the WHO shared a message on Twitter expressing their shock at reports of several individuals losing their lives during the recent assaults on the Indonesian Hospital. These attacks targeted both patients and visitors staying at the hospital.
The Israeli forces have issued an ultimatum for people to keep moving, resulting in a large number of individuals seeking refuge in UNRWA centers and schools. This has the potential to increase the risk of epidemics, according to Dr. Ryan, especially with the recent cold rain, which may cause a rise in cases of child pneumonia.
Soon, the dangers to public health will be just as serious as those faced by individuals who are not receiving necessary water, food, and fuel due to their scarcity.
Dr. Ryan explained that the combination of these factors creates a perfect environment for epidemics to occur, as the amount of calories consumed is currently insufficient for maintaining a strong immune system.
Several patients at Al Shifa hospital are still in critical condition that could potentially be life-threatening.
Rob Holden a WHO Senior Emergency Officer, briefing from Rafah in southern Gaza, gave further details on the dramatic evacuation of 31 premature babies to relative safety from the war-torn Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
He stated that the weekend’s two-part mission was a triumph, as they were able to safely evacuate both infants and remaining relatives from the region with the help of the Palestinian Red Crescent.
He disclosed that 28 individuals were transported to the Egyptian Red Crescent for treatment on Monday. He also shared that three infants were reunited with their families in southern Gaza.
According to the speaker, out of the 220 patients still at Al Shifa, several are in critical condition and require dialysis. One patient is currently receiving intensive care.
According to him, 25 individuals suffered from serious spinal injuries and the WHO will collaborate with the Palestinian Red Crescent to transfer them to the southern region.
The amount of fuel provided to Israel on a daily basis has been confirmed by Dujarric.
The Israeli government has approved a daily allowance of around 70,000 liters of fuel from Egypt to enter Gaza, according to UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric during a press briefing in New York on Wednesday. However, this amount falls far short of the minimum amount needed for essential humanitarian activities.
He stated that the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) would distribute the fuel to aid in food distribution and to power generators at hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, shelters, and other essential services.
Last Sunday, UNRWA and UNICEF provided approximately 19,500 liters of fuel to water and sanitation facilities in the southern part of central Gaza. This allowed the facilities to use generators and resume their operations for a period of approximately 24 hours.
“To the north of Wadi Gaza, all water and sanitation facilities are presumed to be shut down, and no distribution of bottled water has been taking place since the start of the Israeli ground operations on 28 October, raising grave concerns about dehydration and waterborne diseases.”
According to UNRWA, the attack on Al Fakhouri school in Jabalia on Saturday resulted in at least 24 fatalities and multiple injuries, as reported by the speaker.
At the moment of the event, there were approximately 7,000 internally displaced persons taking shelter at the facility.
A recent announcement from the United Nations provided an update on their diplomatic initiatives. According to a statement given to reporters in New York, Rosemary DiCarlo, the chief of political affairs, held a meeting on Sunday with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and other high-ranking Israeli leaders.
Additionally, she had a meeting with the families of hostages currently being held in Gaza.
She had additional discussions with Israeli authorities and UN coworkers in the field on Monday. On Tuesday, she will be journeying to Ramallah in the West Bank to confer with Palestinian leaders.