Update Gaza humanitarian crisis - WHO
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Edited News | WHO

Update Gaza humanitarian crisis - WHO

STORYLINE

“Trauma wards resemble battlefields, we need a ceasefire now”, says WHO

Describing the disastrous situation in Gaza two months after the start of the Israeli retaliation following Hamas' 7 October terror attacks in southern Israel, the UN health agency (WHO) warned on Friday that the war-torn enclave faced a "breakdown" of society.

“People are starting to cut down telephone poles to have a little bit of firewood to still keep warm, to maybe cook if they have anything available. So we are at that level where really the civilisation is about to break down,” WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier told journalists in Geneva.

Intense Israeli bombardment of Gaza and fighting with Palestinian armed groups on the ground continues to hinder urgently needed aid operations.

The WHO spokesperson reported that on Friday “we had a convoy supposed to go up with medical supplies and to evacuate 12 patients from Al-Ahli [hospital] in the north to the south. That mission, we were told this morning, had to be suspended because of the security situation.” He added that WHO is trying to evacuate some patients to the United Arab Emirates.

“Health workers need to flee and take care of themselves on top of it. They don't have food. They don't have water to continue working. Patients are bleeding on the floor,” said WHO’s spokesperson. “Trauma wards resemble battlefields, literally. This must end. This callousness must end. We need a ceasefire and we need it now.”

WHO has documented 212 attacks on health care in the Gaza Strip since 7 October affecting 56 health care facilities (including 24 hospitals damaged) and 59 ambulances.

Mr. Lindmeier reported that children were "actually begging and crying for water".

"We're at that level where the most normal and basic supplies are not available anymore,” he said.

Usually “in any refugee camp situation”, he stressed, there would be a minimum of seven litres of water per day per person, while in Gaza that number is currently between one and two litres.

Currently, only 14 out of 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are functional and able to admit new patients, and even in these facilities services are limited. Only two of the partially functioning hospitals are in the north. The two major hospitals in southern Gaza are operating three times above their bed capacity, facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel.

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the occupancy rates are reaching 206 per cent in inpatient departments and 250 per cent in intensive care units. Additionally, these hospitals are providing shelter to thousands of IDPs.

“The situation in Gaza is beyond belief. Literally, the health system is on its knees,” reiterated WHO’s spokesperson. “Gaza cannot afford to lose any more health facility, any more single ambulance, any more hospital. We're seeing, what we're fearing, that the south will experience the same as the north.”

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, between 7 October and 7 December afternoon, at least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed in the Strip, about 70 per cent of whom are said to be women and children, and 46,000 are reportedly injured. Many more are missing, presumably under the rubble, awaiting rescue or recovery.

-ends-

STORY: Update Gaza humanitarian crisis - WHO

TRT: 1:54”
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 08 December 2023 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST

  1. Exterior medium shot: UN building with UN flag, UN Geneva.
  2. Wide shot, press briefing room with moderator UN Geneva
  3. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson: “People are starting to cut down telephone poles to have a little bit of firewood still to keep warm, to maybe cook if they have anything available. So we are at that level where really the civilization is about to break down.”
  4. Cutaway: Wide shot, press briefing room with moderator, UN Geneva
  5. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson: “Health workers need to flee and take care of themselves on top of it. They don't have food. They don't have water to continue working. Patients are bleeding on the floor. Trauma wards resemble battlefields, literally. This must end. This callousness must end. We need a cease fire and we need it now.”
  6. Cutaway: Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and screens, UN Geneva
  7. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson: “Children and people actually begging and crying for water. We're at that level where the most normal and basic supplies are not available anymore.”
  8. Cutaway: Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists, UN Geneva
  9. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson : “Today we had a convoy supposed to go up with medical supplies and to evacuate 12 patients from Al-Ahli in the north to the south. That mission, we were told this morning had to be suspended because of the security situation. We're trying to evacuate some patients to the UAE.”
  10. Cutaway: Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and screens, UN Geneva
  11. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson : “The situation in Gaza is beyond belief. Literally, the health system is on its knees. Gaza cannot afford to lose any more health facility,  anymore single ambulance, any more hospital. We're seeing, what we're fearing, that the South will experience the same as the North.”
  12. Cutaway: medium shot, screen and moderator, UN Geneva
  13. Cutaway: medium shot, journalist listening, UN Geneva
  14. Cutaway: medium shot, journalist listening, UN Geneva

 


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