Earlier this week, WHO’s Director-General issued a warning regarding the imminent collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners delivered fuel and other essential supplies to two hospitals in northern and southern Gaza this week, the UN agency said on Wednesday.
According to WHO, several groups of the agency witnessed intense hostilities during their visits to two hospitals – Al-Shifa in the north and Al-Amal Palestine Red Crescent Society in the south.
The organisation also highlighted that there are high patient loads and overcrowding caused by Palestinians seeking refuge in both surroundings.
“Both hospitals also serve as shelters for displaced people seeking relative safety. At Al-Shifa Hospital, a reported 50,000 people are sheltering, while in Al-Amal, there are 14,000,” WHO said in a statement.
“While transiting across Gaza, WHO staff witnessed tens of thousands of people fleeing heavy strikes in the Khan Younis and Middle Area, on foot, riding on donkeys, or in cars. Make-shift shelters were being built along the road,” the agency added.
Amid the Israeli military’s brutal campaign, which has massacred the lives of 20,424 Palestinians, predominantly women, and children, Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO Representative of the West Bank and Gaza, said there is a grave concern about the situation on the ground.
“WHO is extremely concerned this fresh displacement of people will further strain health facilities in the south, which are already struggling to meet the population’s immense needs,” said Peeperkorn.
“This forced mass movement of people will also lead to more overcrowding, increased risk of infectious diseases, and make it even harder to deliver humanitarian aid,” he added.
Earlier this week, WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a warning regarding the imminent collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system.
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.”
According to the latest WHO assessments, Gaza has 13 partially functioning hospitals, two minimally functioning ones, and 21 not operating.
WHO staff also reported Tuesday that the need for food continues to be acute across the Gaza Strip.
“WHO’s ability to supply medicines, medical supplies, and fuel to hospitals is being increasingly constrained by the hunger and desperation of people en route to, and within, hospitals we reach,” the agency voiced.