Aid groups describe an 'unimaginable' situation after visiting packed Gaza hospital

AP , Monday 25 Mar 2024

Aid groups that visited a packed Gaza hospital described an “unimaginable” situation in which large open wounds were left untreated.

gaza
Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment are brought to a hospital in Rafah, Gaza Strip. Sunday, March 24, 2024. AP

 

An emergency medical team organized by three aid groups spent two weeks carrying out surgeries and other care at the European Gaza Hospital near Khan Younis. The southern city has seen heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters since the start of the year.

The hospital has expanded to 1,000 beds from its original capacity of 200 to accommodate patients from Nasser Hospital, the main hospital in Khan Younis, which Israeli forces raided last month. There are also an estimated 22,000 people sheltering at the European Gaza Hospital.

The visiting surgeons “reported large infected open wounds on patients and having to administer emergency nutritional supplies to patients as the lack of food was jeopardizing patient treatment.”

In a statement released Monday, the team said healthcare workers had been forced to evacuate or were unable to access the hospital. It said Israeli restrictions had led to shortages of medical supplies, including basics like gauze and plates and screws used to stabilize broken bones.

Most of Gaza’s hospitals have been forced to shut down, even as scores are killed and wounded each day in Israeli strikes.

Israel’s offensive has killed over 32,000 Palestinians, and experts warn that even more are at risk of dying from disease and starvation.

The emergency medical team was organized by Medical Aid for Palestinians, the International Rescue Committee and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

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