Sunday, March 3, 2024

Hundreds missing from Gaza’s Al-Aqsa Hos­pi­tal, only 5 doctors remain: WHO

The majority of medical staff as well as around 600 patients from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza have been forced to leave the complex to unknown locations with no information of their whereabouts, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) reported on Monday.

Staff from the WHO and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) visited the only functioning hospital in the governorate of Deir el-Balah in central Gaza on Sunday.

They noted that intense bombing had driven many to seek medical help at Al-Aqsa.

According to a post from the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, his staff witnessed “sickening scenes of people of all ages being treated on blood-streaked floors and in chaotic corridors.”

“Al Aqsa is the most important hospital remaining in Gaza’s Middle Area and must remain functional, and protected, to deliver its lifesaving services,” Dr Ghebreyesus stated.

“Further erosion of its functionality cannot be permitted – doing so in the face of such trauma, injury and humanitarian suffering would be a moral and medical outrage.” 

“During today’s mission, we were informed that evacuation orders and lack of safety had forced most health staff to leave. Tonight’s reports indicate that only 5 doctors remain. Hospital management said health workers had no food,” WHO chief wrote.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) stated that their emergency medical team had been forced to cease life-saving and other critical activities at the hospital and leave the facility, as a result of increasing Israeli military activity.

The team sent by the UN and WHO distributed medical supplies and beds on Sunday for dialysis and trauma patients. They also stated that the agency is planning to deploy emergency staff. 

The WHO team delivered medical supplies to support 4,500 patients needing dialysis for three months and 500 patients requiring trauma care.

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