Gaza City – A lack of fuel and large numbers of wounded Palestinians arriving at al-Shifa hospital has resulted in its maternity ward being transferred to the private al-Helou International Hospital.
“The hospital is fully equipped regarding all services, including neonatal, internal medicine, and surgery,” said Mohammed al-Helou, a doctor of obstetrics and gynaecology.
He explained that what pregnant women experience in this war is “deeply horrifying”.
“People are even afraid of going to the hospital to receive services due to the bombing everywhere and the fact that there are no safe spaces in the Gaza Strip,” he said.
According to the United Nations Population Fund in Palestine, there are 50,000 pregnant women in the Gaza Strip who are unable to obtain basic health services.
At least 5,500 of them will give birth during the month of October, according to the UN.
“A large number of women suffered premature births and many miscarriages due to fear and panic as a result of the continuing Israeli bombing of Gaza,” said Abdelhakim Shehateh, a medical director at al-Shifa hospital and an obstetrics consultant.
A lack of medical supplies and fuel to operate has sent hospitals in the Gaza Strip into a state of collapse.
Shehateh said that al-Shifa hospital had no choice but to accommodate some of the Palestinians injured in Israeli attacks in its maternity ward because the hospital had run out of space.
As a result, the Palestinian health ministry decided to transfer the ward to al-Helou hospital, which was targeted by Israeli shelling last Wednesday. No casualties were reported.
“We perform caesarean sections but are selective due to the lack of resources,” Shehateh said.
“We need everything, from a syringe to a hospital bed.”
At least 16 out of 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip have stopped working as a result of the Israeli bombing and fuel depletion, the health ministry said.
Spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra warned of a “health catastrophe” due to the cessation of the main electrical generator in the Indonesian Hospital, and the imminent halt of the main generator in al-Shifa hospital.