The World Health Organization and partners have completed resupply of fuel to the Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people remain cut off from aid.
The mission, which delivered 19 000 liters of fuel to Al-Shifa Hospital, faced delays at the checkpoint with roads leading to the hospital severely damaged and desperation in northern Gaza apparent, as thousands of civilians surrounded the UN vehicles and fuel truck in the hopes of finding food and water, also delaying the mission.
The last humanitarian mission to northern Gaza took place on 12 January.
Monday’s mission was executed in partnership with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, and Médecins Sans Frontières.
Across the Gaza Strip, the few remaining hospitals find themselves in ever more dire circumstances, with hostilities often preventing access for patients and supplies, and health workers managing on little rest and scarce supplies.
According to the WHO mission, functionality at Al-Shifa Hospital has improved since the last visit with a significant decrease in the number of displaced people, from 40 000 to 10 000. There were 120 health and care workers and 300 patients with the hospital conducting 5-10 surgeries daily, mainly trauma cases that require immediate care. Essential services such as basic laboratory and radiological facilities remain operational, along with emergency care, a surgical unit with three operation theaters, post-operative care, and a dialysis unit. There are plans to reopen a 9-bed ICU over the coming days.
Intensified military presence and hostilities in southern Gaza are also placing patients and health workers at risk, and compromising access to health care with the mission saying the obtaining situation is severely obstructing the movement of health workers, ambulances, and health partners’ ability to resupply hospitals, eroding their functionality.
In southern Gaza, which used to have 12 hospitals, only 7 remain partially functional. A further two, Al-Kheir Hospital and Nasser Medical Complex, are only minimally functional and now inaccessible.