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Critical Fuel Shortage Endangers Lives at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

The main hospital in Gaza, Al-Shifa, is facing a dire situation as fuel reserves for power generators will only last another 24 hours at most, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The absence of electricity poses a severe threat to patients, particularly those in intensive care, neonatology, and reliant on respiratory support machines.

Individuals with chronic illnesses, like diabetes and cancer, as well as pregnant women, are at risk due to the general shortage of medicines. The ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, which began on October 7, has already claimed the lives of 3,785 people, including 1,524 children, with over 12,500 others injured. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that between 800 and 1,000 people are injured daily, but this figure only includes those who can reach a hospital.

The scarcity of fuel and the danger of accessing health facilities mean that only the most severely sick or wounded patients are attempting to seek hospital care. Al-Shifa Hospital, one of the few facilities with electricity, is also treating victims from the recent hospital blast at Al Alhi Baptist Hospital. Thousands of Palestinians are taking shelter at Al-Shifa as they seek refuge from constant bombings.

MSF emphasizes the urgent need for hospitals to be operational again and the assurance of regular ceasefires to allow for the delivery of fuel and medicine. With 60% of Gaza’s population estimated to be living outdoors without access to water or healthcare, there is a growing risk of illnesses related to poor living conditions, particularly affecting women and children, as half the population is under 18, and the healthcare system is on the brink of collapse.