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Citizens for Justice and Peace

Gaza health system verging on collapse in electricity crisis

05, Jan 2018 | CJP Team

The Guardian reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned that Gaza hospitals will “face an almost total power blackout” by February’s end unless funds are available to ensure the functioning of emergency generators. According to the Guardian, Gaza’s “ongoing electricity crisis…has left hospitals reliant on emergency generators for up to 20 hours a day,” with staff forced to reduce “basic services” like diagnostics and sterilisation. Dr. Mahmoud Daher, head of Gaza’s WHO sub-office, told the Guardian that the healthcare system is on “the edge of collapse,” adding, “There are at least 200 babies and people in intensive care units. It would be a really fatal situation for them. There are dozens of people who are going to surgical operations that would be affected.” Dr. Andy Ferguson, director of programmes for Medical Aid for Palestinians (Map) told the Guardian that hospital infections have spiked due to problems sterilising equipment, and that electrical fluctuations have harmed some medical equipment. WHO said generators also require maintenance that hospitals are unable to perform because of constraints on goods entering Gaza. According to the Guardian, latest WHO figures indicate that hospitals are also struggling with acute drug and medical disposable shortages.

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