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The Red Cross has opened a field hospital in Rafah

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The remaining hospitals in Gaza are overflowing with the wounded and sick. This child was injured in an Israeli attack against Rafah on Friday. Photo: AP / NTB

Of NTB | 11.05.2024 10:05:03

War and conflicts: The Norwegian Red Cross will coordinate the operation of the field hospital. The Red Cross in ten other countries and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also contribute.

The Norwegian Red Cross has provided much of the equipment, and 13 Norwegian health workers are now in place in Rafah.

The field hospital has 60 beds, and the outpatient clinic can provide health care to approximately 200 people daily. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports the operation financially.

– The need to increase health efforts in the Gaza Strip has been clear since this conflict started seven months ago, and we have worked over time to get this field hospital in place, says Secretary General Anne Bergh of the Norwegian Red Cross.

The field hospital will complement the vital work that the Palestinian Red Crescent does to provide emergency aid in Gaza.

Both of the Palestinian Red Crescent’s two hospitals are out of service, but the aid organization is trying to the best of its ability to assist the many war victims.

The UN estimates that over 60 per cent of all homes have been completely or partially destroyed, as have the water and electricity networks.

The need for health care is enormous, and the few remaining hospitals are overcrowded with the sick and wounded.

According to Haldorsen, infectious diseases spread quickly, and many people with chronic conditions have been without health care for a long time.

– Amputations as a result of splinter injuries are common, there are also acute respiratory infections. Stomach infections and skin diseases spread quickly among the internally displaced due to a lack of clean water and good sanitation. That is why strengthening health services is a priority for us, says Haldorsen.

– No patient should be killed while lying in a hospital bed. No doctors, nurses or other medical personnel should ever die while working to save lives, says Engh.

24 of the 36 hospitals in Gaza are according to the UN completely out of service as a result of Israeli attacks, and the remaining ones are only partially functional.

The Israeli attacks have so far claimed more than 35,000 lives and nearly 80,000 have been injured. 1.7 million people are internally displaced, and most of them have nothing to return home to.

– Doctors and nurses have been working around the clock, but their capacity has been stretched beyond the limit, says Jørgen Haldorsen. He leads international programs and preparedness in the Norwegian Red Cross.

According to Palestinian health authorities, close to 500 health workers have been killed during the war, and the Red Cross reiterates its demand for the protection of hospitals in accordance with international humanitarian law.

(© NTB)

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