Care International: Gaza crisis: At the doctors – in a warzone

19 April 2024

1.9 million Palestinians in Gaza have had to flee their homes and now live in crowded conditions where basic sanitation has broken down. Most of the displaced have no access to safe water, while an average of 160 people share one toilet, and 700 people one shower facility.

The impact this has on health is devastating. The lack of clean water and sanitation, in addition to a lack of food, sleep, and water, creates fertile ground for the rapid spreading of diseases. Over 586,000 cases of acute respiratory infections and over 220,000 cases of diarrhoea have been reported in Gaza since October, in addition to a high prevalence of scabies, skin rashes, and Hepatitis A. All of this in addition to people dealing with severe injuries from shrapnel and battling with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

Since October, CARE and our partners have been able to reach nearly 90,000 people in Gaza with much-needed medical support including donations of mobile medical equipment and medicines. In Northern Gaza, CARE partner Juzoor for Health and Social Development is one of the few organisations still operational in northern Gaza. CARE spoke with a doctor and families visiting a health centre run by Juzoor. Here’s what they told us.

Doctor Mohammad: “I hope the world will stand by the displaced and sick people.”

“I have been a doctor working for Juzoor for seven years, but the past half year has been the most challenging time of my life. There is so much need, almost everyone is sick. The most vulnerable people are children and women. The situation of pregnant women and lactating mothers is critical. Many women cannot give enough milk to their children because they themselves are malnourished.

We have opened these health centres to support people suffering from all sorts of diseases; some caused by the poor sanitary conditions, some by the war. I am proud of what we have accomplished, and I hope the international community can increase pressure on everyone involved to end this war. I hope the world will stand by the displaced and sick people, helping them return to their homes and get their lives back to normal...

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