The World Health Organization revealed on Thursday that a shortage of fuel, staff, and supplies has rendered hospitals in northern Gaza non-operational. In the entire Gaza Strip, only nine out of 36 health facilities are partially functional, and these are concentrated in the southern part of the enclave.

Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative in Gaza, conveyed via video link from Jerusalem, “There are currently no functional hospitals remaining in the north.”

Al-Ahli Hospital, once the final bastion, is now barely operational — still catering to existing patients but unable to admit new ones. Described as a mere “shell of a hospital” by Peeperkorn, it now resembles more of a hospice, offering extremely limited care. Approximately 10 staff members, mainly junior doctors and nurses, struggle to provide basic first aid, pain management, and wound care with meager resources.

Peeperkorn lamented, “Until two days ago, it stood as the sole hospital in northern Gaza equipped for surgical procedures, but it became overwhelmed with patients in need of urgent care.” Regrettably, there are no functioning operating theaters anymore due to the severe shortage of fuel, power, medical supplies, and healthcare professionals, including surgeons and other specialists.

The victims of recent Israeli attacks, unable to be accorded safe and dignified burials, were laid out in the courtyard of the hospital, as shared by Peeperkorn.

Apart from Al-Ahli Hospital, northern Gaza had just three other health facilities — Al-Shifa, Al Awda, and Al Sahaba hospitals — all functioning at a minimal capacity, hosting thousands of displaced individuals, according to Peeperkorn.

Patients at Al-Ahli, some awaiting surgeries for weeks, faced the added risk of post-operation infections due to a shortage of antibiotics and essential drugs, he noted. Urgent transfers for these immobile patients are crucial for their chances of survival, emphasizing the WHO’s appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire.

“This is imperative now to reinforce and restock the remaining health facilities, provide medical services for the thousands of injured individuals and those in need of essential care, and, most importantly, to halt the bloodshed and death,” he emphasized.

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