Sunday 7 April 2024 - 22:58

Basic Functions at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital Cannot Be Restored in Short Term: WHO

Story Code : 1127425
Basic Functions at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital Cannot Be Restored in Short Term: WHO
This is according to the head of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Even restoring minimal functionality in the short term seems implausible,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on X on Saturday after a WHO-led multi-agency mission accessed Al-Shifa Hospital in western Gaza City.

“WHO and partners managed to reach Al-Shifa — once the backbone of the health system in Gaza, which is now an empty shell with human graves after the latest siege,” said Tedros.

The team observed at least five dead bodies, he noted, adding that most structures in the hospital compound had suffered extensive damage, with many assets damaged or destroyed.

“WHO and partners’ recent effort to support the revival of basic services at Al-Shifa are now lost, and people are once again deprived of access to lifesaving health care services,” according to Tedros.

A thorough evaluation by a team of engineers is needed to ascertain the safety of the remaining buildings for potential future use, he said, according to the Middle East Monitor.

With the looming threat of famine, the spread of disease outbreaks and the rise in trauma injuries, WHO calls for urgent safeguarding of the remaining health care facilities in Gaza, along with the protection of health workers and humanitarian personnel, he said.

The WHO chief also stressed the importance of unobstructed passage for humanitarian aid into and throughout Gaza, as well as an urgent ceasefire.

Israel announced Monday it had withdrawn from the Al-Shifa Hospital and its surroundings after 14 days of raids beginning March 18.

The hospital had been previously subject to a raid on November 16 after it was besieged for one week when its courtyards, parts of its buildings, medical equipment and power generator were destroyed.

Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has asked it to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.