Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said WHO is gravely concerned over reports about the Israeli raids near Al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip, UN Web TV said.
The situation on the ground is impossible to describe. Hospital corridors crammed with the injured, the sick, the dying; Morgues overflowing; Surgery without anaesthesia; Tens of thousands of displaced people sheltering at hospitals; Families crammed into overcrowded schools, desperate for food and water, he said in a press release.
He added WHO is on the ground in Gaza, alongside our partners, to support health workers, who are physically and mentally exhausted and are doing their best in unimaginable conditions. In addition to caring for the 27 thousand people who are wounded, many of them with life-threatening injuries, they are trying to manage the regular health needs of more than 2 million people.
More than 180 women give birth in Gaza every day. There are 9 thousand patients on cancer therapy. And there are 350 thousand patients with diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, he added.
Ghebreyesus explained that since the 7th of October, WHO has verified more than 250 attacks on health care in Gaza and the West Bank. Last week, WHO documented 5 attacks on 5 hospitals in one day. In the past 48 hours alone, four hospitals have been put out of action, representing some 430 beds.
He mentioned more than 100 of our UN colleagues have been killed. And as we speak, there are reports of firing outside the Al-Shifa and Rantisi hospitals. Half of the Gaza Strip’s 36 hospitals and two-thirds of its primary health care centers are not functioning at all. Those that are functioning are operating way beyond their capacities.
The health system is on its knees, and yet somehow is continuing to deliver lifesaving care. The best way to support those health workers and the people they serve is by giving them the tools they need to deliver that care – medicines, medical equipment and fuel for hospital generators, according to him.