Gaza update: OCHA - WHO
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Edited News | OCHA , WHO

Gaza update: OCHA - WHO

GAZA: Hospital open spaces filled with makeshift graves, says WHO 

 

The level of destruction in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza strip has shocked medical personnel from the World Health Organization (WHO), whose representatives said that no building or road had been left being intact in the city. 

WHO staff made these comments on  Friday after recent visits to the three medical facilities there – the Nasser Medical Complex, Al-Aqsa and Al-Khair hospitals -- following the withdrawal of Israeli troops. All facilities were found to be completely non-functional, with no oxygen supply, no water, no electricity and no working sewage systems.

In north Gaza, the Al-Shifa hospital also revealed a grim scenario. “It was shocking to realize that the hospital's open spaces were filled with makeshift graves for people that lost their lives there,” said Dr. Athanasios Gargavanis, a WHO surgeon for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, who spoke via videoconference to reporters at the UN in Geneva. “Some of them had their names on, some of them they had not their names on. And it was really shocking as well to be seeing that we had bodies that had been left uncovered or covered with a plastic sheet on the sides of the buildings.” 

Dr. Gargavanis added that “Shifa Hospital used to be the biggest hospital along the Gaza Strip. It used to be the center of all specialties. Besides oncology, even if some of our level of oncology treatment was taken there. And unfortunately, what we saw when we went last week to Shifa is that the hospital has been turned into dust and rubble.”

Restoring even minimal functionality to the Al-Shifa hospital in the short term would seem impossible, according to the WHO. The hospital’s emergency department, surgical, and maternity ward buildings have been extensively damaged due to explosives and fire, and the oxygen plant has been destroyed. At least 115 beds in what once was the emergency department have been burned and 14 incubators in the neonatal intensive care unit destroyed.

A comprehensive assessment is essential to evaluate the functionality of vital equipment such as computer tomography scanners, ventilators, sterilization devices, and surgical equipment. “Before this war, Shifa was able to use electricity to deliver oxygen to the north. However, after this attack, the needs are escalating,” Dr. Gargavanis said. “We are working with all parties to make sure that we make available oxygen inside. However, in the recent past we have been denied multiple times oxygen tanks as possible dual use items by the Israeli authorities.”

WHO reports that their humanitarian operations continue to face denials of access. Between mid-October and end March, over half of all their missions have been denied, delayed, impeded or postponed by the Israeli authorities, they said. 

“Nine thousand plus patients need to be urgently evacuated. So, you need a system for that. So there's a security screening both by the Israeli side and by the Egyptian side,” said Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO Representative for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. “We were off as W.H.O. already back in November to come up with a proposal, which we did and we were thinking of batches of 60 to 70 patients per day.”

WHO and partners are ready to support efforts to restore Al-Shifa and Nasser along with other hospitals, but this requires sustained access to get supplies and resources in,  and for deconfliction measures to work.

“The deconfliction system has been consistently inaccurate and it hasn’t worked in our favor,” said Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory at the end of his three months assignment. “We have been saying for a long time to the Israelis, warning them that there is likely to be an incident which is going to come up and which is going to be a tragic one and it happened two weeks ago with the World Central Kitchen. We have said to them that the deconfliction system and the notification system are not fit for purpose and we have to revise those.” 

Mr. McGoldrick added that “we need communications equipment, we need to get mobile phones, 3G, we have to get VHF repeaters, we have to get cell phones. All of the things we need, as we have in any other operation. This is an operation I've never seen the lack of communications equipment in a very hostile environment.” He said that he hoped that talks with Israeli Defense Forces would improve the situation and avert further disasters. “If there was to be a Rafah incursion,” he said,  “I know the fact is that the mentioning of evacuating some 800,000 from Rafah, there is no space. And as we see it right now, in Al-Mawasi or anywhere else on the coast where you can accommodate that number because there's 400,000 plus people already there. So we are, you know, in an advocacy mode to say this shouldn't happen.”

-ends- 

 

STORY: Gaza Update - OCHA, WHO  

 TRT: 3:33

SOURCE: UNTV CH 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS 

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 

DATELINE: 12 April 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 

 

  1. Exterior med shot: UN flag alley  
  2. Wide shot: Press briefing room with journalists and speaker on screen 
  3. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “The deconfliction system has been consistently inaccurate and it hasn’t worked in our favor, to be honest with you. There have been so many incidents, we have been saying for a long time to the Israelis, warning them that there is likely to be an incident which is going to come up and which is going to be a tragic one and it happened two weeks ago with the World Central Kitchen. We have said to them that the deconfliction system and the notification system are not fit for purpose. We have to find and revising those.”
  4. Med shot: Moderator at the podium from behind with screen in front of them
  5. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “We need communications equipment, we need to get mobile phones, 3G, we have to get VHF repeaters, we have to get cell phones. All of the things we need, as we have in any other operation. This is an operation I've never seen the lack of communications equipment in a very hostile environment.”
  6. Med shot: Camerawoman adjusting camera
  7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “If there was to be a Rafah incursion, I know the fact is that the mentioning of evacuating some 800,000 from Rafah, there is no space. And as we see it right now, in Al Mawasi or anywhere else on the coast where you can accommodate that number because there's 400,000 plus people already there. So we are, you know, in an advocacy mode to say this shouldn't happen.”
  8. Med shot: Spokespersons at the podium
  9. SOUNDBITE (English) - Dr. Athanasios Gargavanis, WHO surgeon for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “It was shocking to realize that the hospital's open spaces were filled with makeshift graves for people that lost their lives there. Some of them they had their names on, some of them they had not their names on. And it was really shocking as well to be seeing that we had bodies that had been left uncovered or covered with a plastic sheet on the sides of the buildings.”
  10. Wide shot, journalists in press room
  11. SOUNDBITE (English) - Dr. Athanasios Gargavanis, WHO surgeon for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “Shifa Hospital used to be the biggest hospital along the Gaza Strip. It used to be the center of all specialties. Besides oncology, even if some of our level of oncology treatment was taken there. And unfortunately what we saw when we went last week to Shifa is that the hospital has been turned into dust and rubble.”
  12. Med shot: Camerawoman filming and technical staff working behind window
  13. SOUNDBITE (English) - Dr. Athanasios Gargavanis, WHO surgeon for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “Before this war, Shifa was able to use electricity to deliver oxygen to the north. However, after this attack, the needs are escalating. We are working with all parties to make sure that we make available oxygen inside. However, in the recent past we have been denied multiple times oxygen tanks as possible dual use items by the Israeli authorities.”
  14. Wide shot: Camerawoman filming, journalists in room
  15. SOUNDBITE (English) – Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO Representative for the Occupied Palestinian Territory: “9,000 plus patients need to be urgently evacuated. So, you need a system of that. So there's a security screening both by the Israeli side and by the Egyptian side. We were off as W.H.O. already back in November to come up with a proposal, which we did, and we were thinking of batches of 60 to 70 patients per day.”
  16. Wide shot: Speakers at the podium during press conference 
  17. Med shot: Journalists during press conference
  18. Two shot: Journalists during press conference
  19. Wide shot: Camerawoman filming with screen of speaker in background


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