Creating new perspectives since 2009

Red Cross sets up Rafah emergency field hospital

May 14, 2024 at 2:44 pm

A view of a field hospital being built for the injured Palestinians in Rafah, Gaza on February 17, 2024 [Abed Zagout/Anadolu Agency]

The International Red Cross and partners are opening a field hospital in southern Gaza on Tuesday to try to meet what it described as “overwhelming” demand for health services since Israel’s military operation on Rafah began last week, Reuters reports.

Some health clinics have suspended activities, while patients and medics have fled from a major hospital as Israel has stepped up bombardments in the southern sliver of Gaza where hundreds of thousands of uprooted people are crowded together.

“People in Gaza are struggling to access the medical care they urgently need due, in part, to the overwhelming demands for health services and the reduced number of functioning health facilities,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said. “Doctors and nurses have been working around the clock, but their capacity has been stretched beyond its limit.”

Staff at the new facility will be able to treat around 200 people a day and can provide emergency surgical care and manage mass casualties as well as provide paediatric and other services, the ICRC said.

“Medical staff is faced with people arriving with severe injuries, increasing communicable diseases which could lead to potential outbreaks and complication related to chronic diseases untreated that should have been treated days earlier.”

The ICRC will maintain medical supplies to the facility while the Red Cross societies from 11 countries including Canada, Germany, Norway and Japan are providing staff and equipment.

READ: Palestinians desperate to flee Rafah as Israel bears down