April 15, 2024

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Hospitals in Gaza have run out of painkillers


Hospitals in GazaNo cure: “We leave patients screaming for hours”

The condition of hospitals in the Gaza Strip continues to deteriorate. Only twelve facilities are still operational – none of them have any painkillers or anesthetics left.

Karin Ludold
  • Only twelve hospitals are still operating in Gaza.

  • In the facilities, doctors work without painkillers and supplies.

  • Patients suffer from pain for hours.

No painkillers, no antibiotics, no oxygen: the status quo Hospitals in Gaza A spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO) recently said: “Words are beyond words.

According to the BBC, 23 hospitals in Gaza have been unable to function since Sunday, and twelve are only partially functional. Additionally, staff shortages mean doctors have to decide who to admit and who, despite serious, life-threatening injuries, remains untreated.

“Patients scream for hours”

“The current situation is the worst we have experienced since the beginning of the war,” says Youssef al-Akkad, director of the Gaza European Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis. “We're leaving patients screaming for hours,” one doctor told the BBC, as painkillers and anesthetics ran out. Surgery should be performed without anesthesia for severely injured patients.

Also, many patients do not have adequate bed facilities. So workers make makeshift beds by putting metal sheets over old metal frames and wood. Many of the injured were treated directly on the ground.

Untreated wounds rot

Many were admitted with severe burns. “We don't have adequate painkillers for them,” Al-Akkad says. According to the WHO team, the seven-year-old girl was treated with burns over 75 percent of her body, even without painkillers.

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The situation is no different at North Al-Awda Hospital. “It's a disaster when patients' wounds rot and remain open and go untreated for days,” said hospital director Mohammad Salha. Due to lack of electricity, doctors have to operate by headlamp.

“What I experienced in Gaza was not war – it was destruction.”

Irfan Kalaria is a doctor from Virginia, USA

Irfan Kalaria from Virginia, USA worked as a volunteer doctor at Gaza European Hospital for ten days in early February. “I have already been deployed in other war zones. “But what I experienced in Gaza was not war — it was destruction,” he tells the Los Angeles Times. Where there are usually 300 people being treated, there were more than 1,000 – in corridors, stairwells and even storage cupboards.

Doctors are arrested or killed

Staff were in short supply. Many doctors were killed or arrested by Israeli soldiers. Israel's Defense Ministry ordered an attack on hospitals in Gaza due to the presence of Palestinian militants. Just last Saturday, Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis was attacked and 200 people were arrested. The hospital was defunct after the military operation.

Irfan Kalaria recounts his traumatic time at the Gaza hospital: “I performed ten to twelve surgeries a day and worked for 14 to 16 hours each time. The operating room was often shaken by the incessant bomb attacks, sometimes even every 30 seconds,” the American said. .

His crew amputated hands and feet daily. All they had was an old saw. “Basically a piece of barbed wire,” says Galaria. Basically, he describes his short deployment as “a struggle to care for all the wounded in a health system that has completely collapsed.”

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