24, February, 2024
HomeWorldHumanitarian Crisis Unfolds: Premature Babies Face Dire Conditions Amidst Gaza Conflict

Humanitarian Crisis Unfolds: Premature Babies Face Dire Conditions Amidst Gaza Conflict

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The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has cast a dark shadow over the Gaza Strip, with premature babies facing alarming challenges due to the scarcity of essential health equipment and facilities. Hospitals, already strained by the escalating conflict, are struggling to provide adequate care, leading to devastating consequences for the most vulnerable lives.

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According to the latest toll released by Palestinian authorities on Monday (Nov 13), a premature baby and two patients lost their lives at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital. The Hamas-run health ministry attributed the deaths to fuel shortages exacerbated by intense fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas militants.

Youssef Abu Rish, deputy health minister in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, informed AFP that the toll has now risen to six premature babies and nine patients since electric shortages began impacting the hospital.

Israel contends that Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by many Western nations, is operating beneath hospitals and using civilians as human shields. This claim adds a complex layer to an already tragic situation.

In the midst of this conflict, even newborns at Al-Shifa Hospital are not spared the horrors of war, lacking the necessary medical equipment such as incubators for premature births. A Reuters report reveals a distressing scene, where babies are placed side by side, some wrapped in roughly taped green fabric for warmth.

The images released depict babies in vulnerable states, some clad only in diapers, their lives hanging in the balance with every passing minute. Unverified social media posts, quoting Medhat Abbas, a spokesperson for the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, suggest that some babies were born via C-section from deceased mothers, though these reports couldn’t be independently confirmed by WION.

The situation is dire, as reported by Dr. Mohamed Tabasha, head of the pediatric department at Al-Shifa, who expressed the urgent need for resources. The lack of electricity forced the relocation of premature babies from incubators to ordinary beds over the weekend, exposing them to harsh conditions.

These infants, weighing less than 1.5kg, require incubators to regulate temperature and humidity according to their specific needs. However, due to the shortage of electricity, they now share ordinary beds, surrounded by necessities like nappies, sterile gauze, and plastic bags.

Dr. Tabasha paints a grim picture of the challenges faced, from overcrowded conditions and medical staff shortages to the inability to sterilize milk, increasing the risk of viral transmission among the infants.

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As the conflict unfolds, the plight of these premature babies underscores the urgent need for international attention and humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of innocent lives caught in the crossfire.

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