Gaza hospitals struggle to treat thousands


Published: 2018-05-17 21:13

Last Updated: 2018-05-18 12:34

Protests near the Gaza border during the Great Return March
Protests near the Gaza border during the Great Return March
Roya News Source

Monday marked the deadliest day in Gaza since 2014. Protesting along the border as part of the Great Return March on the same day the US embassy officially opened in Jerusalem, unarmed Palestinians were met with live fire and tear gas. Israeli forces killed approximately 60 and injured over 2700.

The violence elicited the international condemnation of Israel, which retaliated by denying accusations and pointing fingers of blame to Hamas.

This recent tragedy has put a strain on the already struggling health facilities of the besieged Gaza Strip. Over 1,700 victims received injuries that required hospital treatment on Monday, Reuters reported Tuesday, but many of them feared they would not receive proper care due to overcrowding, limited supplies and electricity shortages.

Tents have been set up outside hospitals to cater to the large number of patients, some of whom were in severe condition but were discharged due to lack of space, staff and resources.

"The influx of new injuries means people are being treated in corridors and sent home before they have properly healed," said Jennifer Moorehead, a Save the Children advocacy officer, according to the New Arab.

Doctors revealed to Haaretz that they had been forced to amputate the limbs of several victims because they could not treat their injuries and infections in time.

Over 4,000 patients have been treated since March 30, hundreds of them children, according to a recent ReliefWeb update. 

Civilians in Gaza have been suffering under an Israeli-imposed blockade since 2007, preventing patients in dire circumstances from being relocated to better-equipped health institutions.

The majority of people are reliant on humanitarian aid, and families receive only several hours of electricity every day. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization had warned that Gaza hospitals were on the brink of collapsing due to insufficient electricity.

The international community has provided aid to Gaza, medically and financially, in the past few days. Yet the situation remains dire.

Despite the bleak circumstances, the protests are expected to continue, and the determination of Palestinians remains as strong as ever.