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WHO demands immediate ceasefire in Gaza Strip to save injured and deliver aid

WHO demands immediate ceasefire in Gaza Strip to save injured and deliver aid
10 Nov 2023 11:33

AHMED SHAABAN (CAIRO)


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of significant deterioration and collapse of the health sector in Gaza due to the ongoing war, which has lasted for over 30 days. Over 150 health facilities were targeted and destroyed, and a third of the sector’s hospitals ceased operations, endangering the sick and wounded. 


In an exclusive statement to Aletihad, Dr. Jamal Asmat, a WHO advisor in the Middle East, noted that the Gazan health system has become incapacitated and completely paralysed due to the cut-off of all medical and health supplies and medicines. He added that, according to health, humanitarian, and international standards, the health system in Gaza has collapsed.


The Palestinian health authorities’ daily report announced that 60% of hospitals and medical centres in Gaza are now out of service.
The WHO advisor pointed out that the continuation of the war and bombing in Gaza has resulted in many wounded and injured, who are in dire need of medication and care that is not available in the sector. He added that the targeting of hospitals and ambulances has turned the medical staff into victims and patients, thereby increasing the suffering.


Asmat warned of the danger of forced evacuation from northern Gaza to the southern part of the Strip, especially for the wounded and injured. He stressed that cramming victims into narrow, high-density spaces in the absence of medical facilities and supplies, heralds the spread of viral and bacterial diseases.


He described the health situation in Gaza as extremely tragic and worsening with the lack of clean drinking water and the use of unclean water, emphasising the urgent need to supply hospitals with the necessary supplies to treat the wounded and injured, especially children.
In addition to the medicines needed by those with chronic diseases and the elderly, such as medication for blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, emergency medications, and antibiotics, Asmat said that doctors are forced to perform surgeries without anaesthesia, causing excruciating pain for the wounded who cannot bear it, especially children.


He pointed out that the ongoing fuel crisis in Gaza, which is essential for hospitals to generate electricity to operate medical devices, infant incubators, and resuscitation equipment, also results in the spoiling of many medicines and blood bags that require storage at low temperatures.
Asmat noted that the Gazan children are also going through serious health issues, such as psychological trauma from witnessing killing, destruction, and bombing, in addition to immune deficiency diseases due to the lack of vaccinations, and the shortage of infant formula.


He mentioned that the WHO has repeatedly called for an urgent humanitarian truce in Gaza to help thousands of wounded and those with chronic diseases. Moreover, there is a need for an immediate ceasefire to facilitate the entry of life-saving aid and compensate for the severe food, medicine, and fuel shortages faced by the Gazan population.


Asmat said that the WHO appreciated the efforts of Egyptian doctors, as well as others on the border and in the Sheikh Zuweid Hospital in North Sinai, for receiving and treating wounded Palestinians.

Source: Aletihad - Abu Dhabi
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