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Dire Conditions in Gaza: Starvation and Dehydration Endanger Lives of Children

Saturday 15 June 2024 - 12:44
Dire Conditions in Gaza: Starvation and Dehydration Endanger Lives of Children

Gaza Strip —The relentless blockade of Gaza has driven the region into a humanitarian crisis, with severe shortages of medical supplies and essential nutrients leading to a tragic rise in child mortality rates. More than 200 Palestinian children are at imminent risk of dying from malnutrition, according to Gaza's Health Ministry.

In a heartbreaking example of the crisis, Mustafa Hijazi, a 12-year-old boy, succumbed to severe malnutrition and dehydration on Friday at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. His death marks the 40th malnutrition-related child fatality in the besieged enclave, as reported by the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The situation in Gaza has reached a critical point, with medical professionals sounding the alarm on the dire conditions exacerbated by the ongoing blockade. Dr. Hossam Abu Safiyya, head of Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, described the aftermath of the recent conflict and the subsequent withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces.

"The current condition is really dire. It is dangerous, beyond any imagination," Abu Safiyya told Al Jazeera. "We ran out of all medical supplies, and after the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces from the vicinity of Kamal Adwan Hospital, all that was left was massive destruction and total devastation."

Despite the overwhelming challenges, Kamal Adwan Hospital has managed to resume some operations, particularly in its pediatric units. However, the acute shortage of medical supplies and fuel has severely hampered their ability to provide adequate care.

"Many children die as a result of poor nutrition," Abu Safiyya noted. "We’ve documented many cases where children were suffering acute malnutrition. They were put in the maximum care unit, and we’ve administered a number of first-aid operations. However, we are running out of options simply because these cases require certain medication, certain baby milk, and specific nutrition."

The grim reality extends across the Gaza Strip, with the Health Ministry reporting that essential goods and nutritional supplements for children have not entered the besieged territory for two months. The lack of these critical supplies has left the most vulnerable at extreme risk.

Efforts to bring attention to the crisis and secure international aid continue, but the immediate needs of Gaza's children remain unmet. As the world watches, the call for urgent humanitarian intervention grows louder, seeking to prevent further loss of innocent lives in this beleaguered region.

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