(CTN News) – Amidst the “decimation” of its healthcare infrastructure, more than 180 births take place daily in Gaza, which the UN estimates to be home to roughly 50,000 pregnant women.
“Our doctors and midwives are doing everything possible to provide care for post-natal and high-risk pregnant women at the seven operational UNRWA health centres” (down from 22 before the bloodiest-ever Israeli assault on Gaza began), according to a statement released on Sunday by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
Additionally, on Sunday, the president of the World Health Organization (WHO) condemned the “decimation” of Gaza’s health system and praised the resilience of health personnel working under such difficult conditions.
Speaking on X (previously Twitter), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his deepest sorrow about the catastrophic collapse of the Gaza health system.
The decimation of the #Gaza health system is a tragedy.
But in the face of constant insecurity and inflows of wounded patients, we see doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and more continue striving to save lives.@WHO and our health partners will continue working side by side… pic.twitter.com/Lq62KoQI1f
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) December 24, 2023
“Despite ongoing security concerns and the influx of injured patients, medical professionals, including ambulance drivers, continue to make heroic efforts to save lives,” he continued, echoing previous demands for a swift end to hostilities.
Israeli Strikes Continue to Hit Hospitals: WHO Records 246 Attacks
The organization issued a warning, noting that despite the dramatic increase in healthcare demands, just 38% of the beds available in Palestinian hospitals before the conflict and 30% of the original medical staff are still employed.
Israel has launched multiple strikes on hospitals since the war broke out, even though hospitals are exempt from attack under international humanitarian law.
The World Health Organization has documented 246 incidents of Israeli aggression against Gaza’s healthcare facilities, including hospitals and ambulances, as of December 20.
After visiting two severely damaged hospitals in northern Gaza—the most heavily hit area—earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) described the conditions as “unbearable,” depicting patients who appeared to be mostly abandoned and pleading for food and drink.
As Israel persisted in targeting healthcare institutions, the UN agency reported that out of 36 hospitals in the besieged region, just nine were partially operational; none of these were located in the north.
80% of Gaza’s Population Displaced Amid Ongoing Conflict
Tens of thousands have taken refuge in UN schools or homemade tents, as about 80% of Gaza’s 2.3 million population have been forced to flee to the southern part of the territory.
The 11-week conflict has claimed the lives of at least 20,424 Palestinians, with 166 more casualties reported in the last 24 hours alone, according to Gaza officials. There are tens of thousands of injuries, and a large number of bodies are still under the debris.