Emergency appeal: ICRC warns of impending medical shutdown in Gaza

Middle East News
2024-01-25 | 06:45
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Emergency appeal: ICRC warns of impending medical shutdown in Gaza
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Emergency appeal: ICRC warns of impending medical shutdown in Gaza

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) urged in a Thursday news release that tangible actions must be taken to preserve access to lifesaving and emergency medical care in the Gaza Strip, as less than 20 percent of Gaza's land now shelters over 1.5 million people.

It confirmed that Gaza is "at risk of complete medical shut down without urgent action to preserve services."

Both located in the south of the strip, Nasser Medical Complex and the European Gaza Hospital (EGH) are the two referral hospitals that supply advanced surgical and medical emergency services with large bed capacities, "which is not sufficient for the current wounded and sick across Gaza."

"Nasser and a third facility, Al Amal Hospital, operated by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, are in the midst of the current hostilities," said ICRC.

It also reported that "These people are living in desperate circumstances in the south of the Gaza Strip, where the dramatic escalation of the fighting threatens their survival."

William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC's office in Gaza, highlighted that hospitals in the Gaza Strip are overcrowded and short on medical supplies, fuel, food, and water. Many are also sheltering thousands of displaced families, and now two additional facilities risk being lost. 

"The cumulative impact on the health system is devastating, and urgent action must be taken," Schomburg said.

Affirming that all the conflict parties must respect and protect the medical infrastructure, the news release urged the protection of Gaza's health facilities.

"If these medical facilities – especially Nasser and EGH – cease to function, the world will bear witness to untold thousands of preventable deaths given the size of the population, the current extreme living conditions, a collapsing health system, and the intensity of the fighting," it added.

It noted that parties to the conflict must take urgent steps to guarantee that the hospitals and the people within them are safe "to facilitate the timely re-supply of items necessary to the functioning of the hospitals, including medicine, fuel, food, and water."
 

Middle East News

International Committee

Red Cross

ICRC

Medical

Care

Gaza Strip

Nasser Medical Complex

European Gaza Hospital

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