Publish date12 Nov 2023 - 13:05
Story Code : 614403

Two premature babies die, dozens at risk of death in Gaza’s besieged al-Shifa Hospital

Two premature Palestinian newborns have died as the neonatal intensive care unit in Gaza’s besieged al-Shifa Hospital has stopped working due to the power cut caused by the incessant Israeli bombardment, the head of hospital said.
Two premature babies die, dozens at risk of death in Gaza’s besieged al-Shifa Hospital
Mohammed Abu Salmiya said on Saturday that 37 other babies were at risk of losing their lives as the hospital was running out of fuel in the wake of the ongoing Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

“Unfortunately, we’ve lost two out of 39 babies because of the power outage,” Abu Salmiya said. “We are talking about premature babies who require very intensive care.”

Al-Shifa Hospital’s director underlined that the two babies died because of a lack of fuel, which provides electricity to the incubators allowing for warm temperatures and a constant flow of oxygen to the newborn.

“They died due to low temperatures and a lack of oxygen. We are now using primitive methods to keep them alive,” Abu Salmiya added. “We have electricity until the morning. Once electricity is out, these neonates will die just like the others,” Abu Salmiya warned.

Mohammed Obeid, a surgeon at al-Shifa Hospital, confirmed the newborns’ deaths and said an adult patient also died because there was no electricity for his ventilator.
“We want someone to give us the guarantee that they can evacuate the patients, because we have about 600 inpatients,” he said, in an audio recording posted by medical charity Doctors Without Borders.

The hospital has been under siege and a target of fierce Israeli attacks since the start of Operation al-Aqsa Storm, the largest military operation by the Palestinian resistance groups against the occupying regime in decades.

The head of al-Shifa Hospital stressed the need to arrange an evacuation with the Red Cross, saying, “We need a safe exit and safe transport with ambulances and incubators to keep the babies alive. If these guarantees are offered by the Red Cross, we will do this.”

Meanwhile, Abu Salmiya dismissed reports that the Israeli military had offered to help transport the babies from Gaza’s largest medical facility to another place.

“I offered this to them [the Israeli army]. I offered to evacuate the babies to safe places, using ambulances, but they did not answer,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza warned that operations at the largest hospital in the besieged area had been suspended after it had run out of fuel.

Also on Saturday, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said babies in the al-Quds Hospital, one of Gaza’s main health centers, were suffering from dehydration amid ongoing Israeli attacks on the hospital.

"Babies in al-Quds Hospital are suffering from dehydration because of lack of milk," the humanitarian rights organization wrote on its X social media account.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society added that medical staff at the hospital were working around the clock despite the power outage and intense Israeli airstrikes in the vicinity.

Moreover, the president of the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Francesco Rocca, urged the international community to save newborn babies and patients in Gaza.

"Enough! How can the international community accept the situation in Gaza?" Rocca wrote on X. "Infants in incubators and patients in ICU are at risk of life in the al-Quds hospital."

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after Palestinian resistance groups launched the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm into the occupied territories in response to the Israeli regime’s intensified crimes against Palestinians.

Since then, the occupying regime has embarked on an incessant bombardment of the Gaza Strip, with the Gaza-based health ministry saying that 11,078 people, including 4,506 children, have been killed, and 27,490 others have sustained injuries.

The Tel Aviv regime has also blocked access to water, food, and electricity in Gaza, plunging the coastal area into a humanitarian crisis.
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