Israel, WHO: “A child dies every 10 minutes in Gaza”

20 of the 36 hospitals in the Strip are no longer operational due to heavy bombing

”On average, a child is killed every ten minutes in Gaza”. This was stated by the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus while reporting to the United Nations Security Council on the health situation in the Gaza Strip.

“Supporting health workers in Gaza is at the center of the WHO operational response plan” which, explained Tedros, participated in the “first aid convoy that entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing on 21 October”. On that date, he added, ”we delivered 63 tons of specialist medical equipment and supplies that health workers need to save lives, including for hospitals north of Gaza. But this is not even enough to address the scale of the need. It’s too little.”

Tedros recalled that ‘‘Before October 7, an average of 500 trucks a day entered Gaza with essential supplies. Since October 21st, instead of the 10,000 trucks expected, only 650 have entered. ‘What we are asking for today is that a ceasefire be put in place in Gaza”.

In Gaza, waiting to understand the impact of the operations of the last few hours, 20 of the 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are no longer operational due to heavy bombing, destruction and lack of medical supplies, the World Health Organization reported. Even those facilities that are still operating are only active in emergencies, because many do not have enough disinfectants, anesthetics or electricity to provide regular patient care, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said, noting that some hospitals still operating they have double the number of patients compared to the number of beds.

WHO has received reports of intense fighting around Shifa hospital, but had no information on the level of damage, Harris reported. The Shifa hospital, the only one with a pediatric department – recalled the spokesperson of the UN health agency – welcomes young patients who are in intensive care or who require dialysis. Any disruption to their care would be life-threatening to the children, Harris warned.