Gaza’s hospitals are being overwhelmed with wounded and casualties from Israel’s continued bombings, causing critical shortages of drugs and medical supplies needed to treat the wounded, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The UN health agency is asking for $10 million from donors to meet the hospitals’ needs for drugs and medical supplies over the next three months, reports Yahoo! News.
Officials in Gaza have said that 43 Palestinians, almost half of which are civilians, have been killed since Israel began its air strikes on Wednesday. Three Israeli civilians have also been reported dead after a ricked fired from Gaza hit them on Thursday.
Israel launched the air attack on Gaza on Wednesday with the aim of deterring Hamas from continued rocket strikes, which have plagued the nation’s southern cities for years.
When quoting Health Ministry officials in Gaza, the WHO stated that 382 people have been injured in the attacks — 245 adults and 137 children. The WHO statement added, “Many of those injured have been admitted to hospitals with severe burns, injuries from collapsing buildings and head injuries.”
The Huffington Post notes that the incoming injured have caused health authorities to declare an emergency situation in all hospitals to cope. The WHO added in the statement, which was issued from Geneva:
“Before the hostilities began, health facilities were severely over stretched mainly as a result of the siege of Gaza… WHO appeals to the international and regional community for urgent financial support to provide essential medicines to cover pre-existing shortages, as well as emergency supplies for treating casualties and the chronically ill.”
The World Health Organization added that the Gaza Ministry of Health’s supplies for several life-saving drugs and disposable equipment are at “zero stock.” They added that “the Ministry of Health has postponed all elective surgeries due to the emergency and shortages in anaesthesia drugs.
In order to cope with the overwhelming situation, Gaza hospitals have transferred non-urgent cases to hospitals run by aid groups. Health personnel have also been asked to report to the nearest health facility for extended shifts.