The Outer

WHO Calls for Urgent Support to Avert Public Health Crisis in Gaza

By Menna Majd

In response to the escalating risk of disease outbreaks and a struggling healthcare system in Gaza, the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging immediate international support to prevent a public health crisis. The organization reiterates its commitment to bolstering Al-Shifa Hospital, a vital facility facing overwhelming patient numbers and severe resource shortages.

The WHO highlights the potential activation of up to 20 operating theatres and post-operative care services in Al-Shifa Hospital, contingent upon the provision of regular supplies such as fuel, oxygen, medicines, food, and water. Urgent requirements also include a substantial increase in specialized medical, nursing, and support staff, including emergency medical teams.

A joint mission, comprising representatives from the WHO and other United Nations agencies, visited Al-Shifa Hospital in north Gaza on Saturday as part of a collective effort to deliver health supplies and assess the facility’s situation.

Describing the conditions as “unbelievably challenging circumstances,” the team emphasized the critical state of the hospital, characterizing it as in need of resuscitation. The emergency department, depicted as a “bloodbath,” is currently grappling with hundreds of injured patients, receiving new cases by the minute. Doctors are operating in extremely difficult circumstances, providing dialysis to approximately 30 patients daily, with machines running 24/7 on a small generator.

The emergency department’s overcrowded situation has patients with trauma injuries being sutured on the floor, with limited to no pain management available. WHO staff emphasized the need for caution to avoid stepping on patients due to the overcrowded conditions. Critical patients are being transferred to Al-Ahli Arab Hospital for necessary surgeries. The WHO urges immediate action and support to address the pressing healthcare needs in Gaza during this critical time.

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