Gaza hospitals overwhelmed by influx of patients
Hospitals in Gaza have been overwhelmed by the influx of wounded civilians following the use of live fire by the Israeli military, rights groups said on Sunday.
Medical facilities in the enclave have long suffered a shortage of medical supplies, including anaesthetics, as well as electricity and fuel.
Tens of thousands gathered on Friday to take part in what has been dubbed the “Great March of Return” in which Palestinians demanded that refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to their ancestral homes in Israel.
Sixteen Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 were wounded when the demonstration became violent. Some 758 people were hit by live fire and admitted to hospitals, with the remainder hurt by rubber bullets and tear gas, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
“Prior to the march, the Palestinian Health Ministry was thoroughly prepared to get their staff to work double shifts at the hospitals, but the number of causalities was far beyond their capacity,” Fikr Shalloot, the Gaza director for Medical Aid for Palestinian (MAP) told The National.
“Whatever we provided was not enough, many things were needed, essential drug items, but half of the drugs that were needed to treat people where already used before the march,” said Ms Shalloot.
Aid organisations like the Red Cross have been called upon by the Ministry of Health to provide medical supplies.