World Health Organization describes Al Shifa Hospital as a death zone

The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the situation at the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City as a ‘death zone’, a day after the invading Israeli army forced most of the patients, wounded and medical personnel out of the medical complex, demanding them to walk on foot to the south of the Gaza Strip.

A joint United Nations humanitarian assessment team led by WHO accessed Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza yesterday to evaluate the dire situation within the facility. The team, consisting of public health experts, logistics officers, and security staff from various UN agencies, described the hospital as a “death zone” and the overall situation as “desperate.”

Limited by time constraints due to the security situation, the team could only spend one hour inside the hospital, where they witnessed signs of Israeli shelling and gunfire. Shockingly, a mass grave at the hospital’s entrance was found, with reports indicating that over 80 people had been buried there.

Currently, 25 health workers and 291 patients remai
n in Al-Shifa. Several patient deaths occurred in the previous two to three days due to the shutdown of medical services as a result of the Israeli military siege. Critical cases include 32 babies, 2 people in intensive care without ventilation, and 22 dialysis patients whose access to life-saving treatment is severely compromised.

The majority of patients suffer from war trauma, said WHO, including many with complex fractures, amputations, head injuries, burns, chest and abdominal injuries, and 29 patients with serious spinal injuries requiring medical assistance for movement. Many trauma patients have infected wounds due to a lack of infection control measures and unavailable antibiotics.

WHO expressed deep concern about the safety and health needs of patients, health workers, and internally displaced people at the remaining partially functional hospitals in the north, facing closure due to a lack of essential supplies and intense hostilities. Immediate efforts are essential to restore hospital functional
ity and provide urgently needed health services in Gaza.

WHO reiterated its plea for collective efforts to end the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, calling for an immediate ceasefire, sustained humanitarian assistance, unhindered access and cessation of attacks on vital infrastructure. ‘The suffering in Gaza demands an immediate and concrete humanitarian response.’

Source: Palestine news and Information Agency – WAFA