Geneva, 14 December 2023 (TDI): The Gaza’s last barely functioning hospital has succumbed to the ongoing conflict, becoming a “humanitarian disaster zone” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO reported that the hospital is struggling to provide even basic medical care due to the ongoing conflict. Doctors are working tirelessly under extremely difficult conditions, forced to make impossible choices due to the lack of resources.
“The situation in Gaza is dire,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros. “The last remaining hospital in northern Gaza is overwhelmed, with doctors forced to treat patients on the floor and facing critical shortages of essential supplies like fuel, oxygen, food, and water.”
WHO representative Dr. Peeperkorn described a critical situation in Gaza’s Al-Ahli Hospital, where trauma patients overflow corridors, doctors treat people on the floor, and essential supplies are scarce.
He further highlighted the devastating impact of the conflict, transforming Gaza’s previously “reasonably functioning” health system, comparable to neighboring countries, to a state where over two-thirds of hospitals and 70% of primary healthcare facilities are out of service.
Dr. Peeperkorn painted a picture of Al-Ahli Hospital, severely understaffed and struggling with over 200 patients but resources for only 40. Faced with critical shortages, doctors are forced to perform limb amputations as a last resort.
Adding to the despair, a UN convoy delivering essential supplies and transferring critical patients was met with “serious incidents,” further jeopardizing the hospital’s already precarious situation.
Dr. Peeperkorn detailed the harrowing ordeal faced by a UN-led aid convoy delivering critical supplies to patients . At an Israeli military checkpoint, two Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) staff members were detained for over an hour.
Shockingly, WHO staff witnessed one of them being forced to kneel at gunpoint, harassed, beaten, and stripped searched.
“Nobody can be detained when they are part of a medical mission,” Dr. Peeperkorn emphasized, highlighting the unacceptable delays and mistreatment that impede vital humanitarian efforts.