Creating new perspectives since 2009

Palestinian dentist sets up makeshift clinic in tent in Gaza

Dr. Najdat Saqr, a dentist from Gaza, shares his journey of resilience after his dental centre in Al-Nuseirat was damaged during indiscriminate Israeli shelling. Determined to continue serving his community, Dr. Saqr opened a makeshift clinic among displaced civilians’ tents, offering dental services to those in need.

April 1, 2024 at 7:31 pm

His clinic destroyed during Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian dentist Najdat Saqr has retrieved equipment from the ruins and set up a tent to treat patients again. Saqr has just started seeing patients at the makeshift clinic he opened in a tent in Nuseirat refugee camp.

“Around 80 per cent of our work involves root canal treatment. As for anaesthesia, I do have this but it’s about to run out,” he told Reuters. “After six months of war I decided that I must continue to work. Of course, my [dental] centre was damaged from the bombardment; the Nuseirat roundabout was targeted repeatedly, resulting in damage to my centre.”

He took one of the chairs from his clinic and set up a tent. “I retrieved some equipment from under the rubble and moved everything on a tuk-tuk from the clinic to here.”

Israel has laid waste to the Gaza Strip since launching a military offensive after the Hamas-led 7 October cross-border incursion. The incursion led to just under 1,200 people being killed, many of them by the Israel Defence Forces, according to Israeli media.

Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip has so far killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, most of them children and women, and wounded at least 70,000 more. There is strong evidence of the occupation forces committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as the “plausible genocide” that is being considered by the International Court of Justice.

The World Health Organisation has said that the health system in the Gaza Strip is barely surviving in the besieged territory.

Saqr’s certificates of professional qualification hang proudly from the tent poles of his makeshift dental clinic. “I’ve got many certificates that I worked hard for, I grabbed them from my clinic,” he explained. “I thought I must have them here, hung behind me.”

WATCH: Child’s body found killed by Israeli forces in Al-Shifa Hospital