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WHO chief calls on Israel to urgently enable access to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

April 1, 2024 at 11:26 am

Director-General of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, gives his address during the high level segment session of the 6th United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) at the United Nations (UN) offices in Gigiri, in Nairobi on 29 February 2024 [SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images]

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged Israel on Sunday to urgently enable access to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza and establish a humanitarian corridor, Anadolu news agency reported.

“We urge Israel to urgently facilitate access and a humanitarian corridor so WHO and partners can carry out the lifesaving transfer of patients,” Tedros said on X.

He said 21 patients have died since Al-Shifa Hospital came under siege on March 18, with hostilities continuing in its vicinity according to updates from a health worker at the facility.

“107 patients are in an inadequate building, within the hospital compound, lacking needed health support, medical care and supplies. Patients have been moved multiple times within the hospital compound since the siege began.

“Among the patients are 4 children and 28 critical patients lacking necessary means of care – no diapers, urine bags, water to clean wounds. Many have infected wounds and are dehydrated,” he added.

Tedros said that as of yesterday, there is now just one bottle of water available for every 15 people, leading to the rapid spread of contagious diseases because of highly unsanitary conditions and water scarcity.

He added that a severe shortage of food poses a critical risk, particularly for diabetic patients whose health is deteriorating.

“We repeat: every moment matters. Ceasefire,” he said.

READ: WHO documents 410 attacks on health facilities in Gaza