Health workers, patients forced to leave Gaza's Al Aqsa Hospital: UN

Tel Aviv, Jan 8 (IANS): The UN humanitarians have said that most of the local health workers and about 600 patients of the Al Aqsa Hospital in Gaza have been forced to leave the facility to unknown locations.

Citing the hospital director, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it was "because of increasing hostilities and ongoing evacuation orders".

On Sunday, staff from the World Health Organization (WHO) and OCHA visited Al Aqsa -- the largest medical complex in the besieged enclave.

The Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and International Rescue Committee (IRC) said their emergency medical team had been forced to cease life-saving and other critical activities at the hospital and leave the facility, as a result of increasing Israeli military activity.

According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, his staff witnessed “sickening scenes of people of all ages being treated on blood-streaked floors and in chaotic corridors”.

The hospital has also reported urgent requirement of health workers, medical supplies, beds and the "need to be protected from strikes and hostilities".

The WHO team delivered medical supplies to support 4,500 patients needing dialysis for three months and 500 patients requiring trauma care.

“Al Aqsa is the most important hospital remaining in Gaza’s Middle Area and must remain functional, and protected, to deliver its lifesaving services,” Ghebreyesus stated.

“Further erosion of its functionality cannot be permitted – doing so in the face of such trauma, injury and humanitarian suffering would be a moral and medical outrage.”

According to the WHO, 13 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functional.

Of these 13 facilities, nine are in the south and four in the north.

All these hospitals face challenges such as a shortage of medical staff, including specialized surgeons, neurosurgeons, and intensive care staff, as well as a lack of medical supplies such as anesthesia, antibiotics, pain relief medicines, and external fixators, the global health body said

They also urgently require fuel, food and drinking water.




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Title: Health workers, patients forced to leave Gaza's Al Aqsa Hospital: UN

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