Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for an immediate ceasefire amid the catastrophic destruction of Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure.
The World Health Organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has issued a warning regarding the imminent collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system while reaffirming his urgent call for a ceasefire.
In a statement made on Sunday, Tedros described the situation as a tragedy, highlighting the destruction of health infrastructure in Gaza.
“The decimation of the Gaza health system is a tragedy,” Tedros stated on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. He further emphasised the necessity of a ceasefire: “We persist in calling for CeasefireNow.”
Amid the escalating crisis, Tedros commended the resilience and dedication of Gaza’s medical workers, who, despite facing mounting challenges and an influx of wounded patients, continue to strive to save lives.
“In the face of constant insecurity and inflows of wounded patients, we see doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and more continue striving to save lives,” he said.
The United Nations health agency has been consistently raising concerns about the deteriorating state of healthcare in Gaza since the onset of the most violent Israeli attack that the Strip has ever seen.
The Israeli military’s intense campaign, including extensive aerial bombardments, has resulted in 20,424 fatalities, predominantly women and children, as reported by the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza.
The occupation’s relentless bombing has devastated vast areas of Gaza, leaving its 2.4 million residents grappling with acute shortages of essential resources like water, food, fuel, and medicine.
Out of Gaza’s original 36 hospitals, only nine remain partially functional, all located in the southern region and all overwhelmed with patients.
WHO personnel, after visiting two heavily damaged hospitals in the north, Al-Shifa and Al-Ahli, reported witnessing distressing scenes of patients, including children, in desperate need of food and water.
The WHO has warned that healthcare needs are skyrocketing, yet only 38% of hospital beds are available, and a mere 30% of the original health staff remain active.
Hospitals, which are protected under international humanitarian law, have been repeatedly targeted in Israeli strikes since the conflict began.
As of December 20, the WHO has documented 246 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza, including hospitals and ambulances, resulting in 582 deaths and 748 injuries, further exacerbating the healthcare catastrophe in the region.