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Basic services on verge of collapse in Gaza hospitals due to lack of fuel

January 21, 2019 at 11:36 am

A Palestinian patient undergoes kidney dialysis in Gaza city on 28 August 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip warned on Sunday that basic services in six main hospitals in the territory are on the verge of collapse due to a severe lack of fuel needed to operate emergency electricity generators, has reported.

“We are getting closer to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip because of the expected halt of basic services in six main hospitals,” explained Mohamed Abu Selmiyeh, the director of Al-Rantisi Hospital for Children. “For the first time since the start of the [12-year-old] Israeli siege on Gaza, we stand helpless ahead of such a crisis.”

Abu Selmiyeh noted that the generators could stop working at any time, hitting those in need of regular dialysis, for example, as well as premature babies in incubators and patients in intensive care units. Many lives are at risk due to the fuel shortage.

The ministry appealed for everyone to help Gaza’s hospitals to get through this crisis caused by the electricity shortages arising from the siege. Generators intended to act as emergency back-ups for minor power cuts are now in use for hours at a time. The hospitals in the besieged enclave need at least 450,000 litres of industrial fuel every month to keep them going.

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