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The Dire Health Crisis in Gaza: How Conflict Severely Impacts the Healthcare System

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Anthony Raphael
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The Dire Health Crisis in Gaza: How Conflict Severely Impacts the Healthcare System

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The Ongoing Assault and Its Effects

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The health-care system in Gaza has been severely impacted by the ongoing assault, with over 600 reported attacks on health-care facilities leading to severe damage to hospitals and ambulances. The assault, which is now more than 100 days old, has resulted in the deaths of over 27,000 Palestinians, 60% of whom are children and women. This has led to what Gaza health authorities describe as daily 'massacres' and 'unprecedented' destruction.

The Plight of Chronic Patients

The chronic shortages of fuel and medical supplies have left over 500,000 Gazans facing catastrophic hunger, and patients with chronic life-threatening diseases like cancer and kidney failure with severely limited access to medical care. The World Health Organization reports that 26 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza are severely damaged. Over 1,100 dialysis patients, including 38 children, in Gaza are unable to access adequate care due to the compromised health system. Patients are facing a drastic reduction in access to water, fuel, and medical supplies, leading to insufficient and infrequent dialysis treatments, resulting in deaths due to the inability to access treatment.

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Life-Threatening Implications for Dialysis Patients

The blockade of Gaza has put the lives of kidney failure patients at risk, with a significant decrease in dialysis treatments, leading to life-threatening situations. For instance, patients like Ismail Al Tawil, a 44-year-old in Gaza, have died due to the inability to access dialysis treatment.

Diminishing Medical Personnel

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The devastating effects of the assault are not limited to patients alone. Medical personnel have also been impacted, with more than 300 health care workers killed and over 200 detained by Israeli forces. The loss of medical personnel, such as Dr. Hammam Alloh, a nephrologist who was killed during the assault, has further deteriorated the health care system in Gaza.

Long-Lasting Consequences of the Collapsed Healthcare System

The collapsed health-care system in Gaza will have long-lasting consequences, with far-reaching effects beyond the immediate crisis. The violence has not only resulted in physical damage but also a mental health crisis, with the population reeling from anxiety and depression and at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. The crisis has also led to displacement, with approximately 8,000 people evacuated from the Palestine Red Crescent Society headquarters and Al Amal hospital in Gaza's southern city of Khan Younis.

International Response

International leaders have shown concern about the situation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have discussed regional coordination on ending the war in Gaza and plans for the war-torn strip after the fighting ends. However, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated, the war must not end before Israel kills Hamas leadership, further complicating the situation.

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