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166 unsafe births in Gaza every day

October 27, 2023 at 10:33 am

A newborn is seen at Nasser Hospital, born after his mother was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis, Gaza on October 24, 2023. [Mustafa Hassona – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Ministry of Health yesterday said as many as 166 unsafe births are recorded in the besieged Gaza Strip every day, while more than 50,000 pregnant women face challenges in accessing health care as a result of the ongoing Israeli bombing, Anadolu news agency reported.

This came in a detailed report on the effects of the Israeli attacks on the health care sector in besieged Gaza and the occupied West Bank since 7 October, issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

According to the report, an estimated 5,500 women will give birth next month in the Gaza Strip in a collapsed care system,  while more than 130 premature newborns who depend on incubators now face the imminent risk of death due to scarcity of resources and lack of electricity.

The ministry said it had recorded cases of smallpox, scabies and diarrhoea, as a result of poor sanitary environment and the use of unsafe water in the Gaza Strip.

The ministry confirmed that the Israeli authorities have requested the evacuation of 24 hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip, with a total capacity of 2,000 beds, noting at the same time the acute shortage of medicines, equipment and personnel necessary to treat large numbers of wounded from the Israeli attacks.

“Gaza’s hospitals are operating at more than 150 per cent of their capacity, where the Shifa Medical Complex currently treats 5,000 patients daily, while its capacity is 700 patients,” it explained.

The ministry expected the Turkish hospital in Gaza, which treats cancer patients, to stop working within 48 hours, due to a severe fuel shortage, noting that there are about 9,000 patients who depend on chemotherapy in this hospital.

Read: Gaza baby saved after doctors perform c-section on mother killed by Israeli air strike