Doctor details World Health Organization response in Gaza

Chicago (CBS) –At least 500 Palestinian patients, medical workers, and people seeking shelter were killed. Explosion at Al Shifa Hospital on tuesday. All Gaza’s hospitals are already in dire straits, with medical supplies and electricity dangerously low and in some cases already depleted.

Margaret Harris, a public health physician and World Health Organization spokeswoman, described the situation for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as “a living hell.”

“There’s no anesthesia,” she said. “They may have to stitch up the child. Doctors are telling us, they’re putting people on the floor, just to keep them alive, just to stop the bleeding. You’re doing stitches without anesthesia. So you’re asking people who have this desire.”His only hope is to save lives, and in the worst of circumstances he can’t do it.” It is about doing things in a way that is normally unimaginable. ”

Doctors at the second-largest hospital are using cellphones and flashlights to illuminate procedures as fuel shortages prompt conversations about energy, according to the Associated Press.

Dr Harris said this humanitarian crisis was unlike anything the WHO had responded to before.

“Personally, I have been to a lot of places that people think are difficult, like Afghanistan and Ukraine, at the beginning of the war, but this is different. This is different because not everyone is safe. That’s what everyone says,” she said.

The World Health Organization has tallied 51 attacks on medical facilities since October 7, when Hamas militants launched cross-border attacks on Israel, killing more than 1,300 people. More than 3,700 Palestinians have been killed since war was declared.

Mr Harris said the WHO was “desperately waiting” for the Rafah crossing to open to deliver life-saving aid. “A lot of what we do is not possible, like just moving supplies or supporting humanitarian access that wasn’t available before,” she said.

The Rafah crossing is the only Gaza border gate that does not lead into Israel. WHO and other non-governmental organizations stand ready to provide humanitarian assistance, including food, water and fuel, to this crossroads. President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced $100 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza and the West Bank.

As of Thursday night, the crossing was not open.

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