Smoke billows after an Israeli attack in Gaza -- Image via the PPP
By Global News Service
Health services at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza, have collapsed, announced Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on January 26. In the absence of a ceasefire, hospitals and health centers in southern and central Gaza are facing a fate similar to those in the North. After prolonged sieges by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), evacuation orders were issued for the areas where hospitals are located, forcing health personnel, patients, and displaced people to leave.
Those who stay behind face the risk of being shot or kidnapped when the IOF storm the grounds. Over 300 patients, unable to evacuate from Nasser Hospital, along with a handful of staff, are exposed to such danger.
An MSF nurse still at Nasser Hospital described how surgical gauze is running out, preventing health workers from sharing resources across hospital rooms. To save supplies, nurses and doctors are now reusing the same gauze on multiple patients.
“They use it once, they squeeze out the blood, wash it, sterilize it, and reuse it with another patient,” the nurse explained.
Even before the MSF announcement, the situation at Nasser Hospital was dire. The World Health Organization warned about reports indicating that health workers at Nasser were digging graves on hospital grounds, anticipating many dead with no alternative way to care for the bodies. The current situation, coupled with overcrowded shelters and inadequate sanitation, is contributing to growing cases of infectious disease. Hepatitis A alone has seen a 16-fold increase in suspected cases compared to November 2023.