5 Jan, 09 | by BMJ Group
The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. We deplore the inadequate response of the Israeli and other world governments to the humanitarian crisis. The bombing of an already severely damaged population, half of which are children with a high prevalence of malnutrition, has already led to many hundreds of deaths and disabilities. The health services are under huge strain and having great difficulty in coping owing to lack of medical supplies and power generation.
We understand that bombing has destroyed the largest medicines and medical supplies store of the ministry of health in Gaza, which mainly supplies Shifa Hospital.
Gravely ill civilian patients, including children, are awaiting permission for evacuation to Israeli hospitals where admission has been agreed; many were injured in the bombing. Their transfer should be facilitated since they are too ill to travel to Egypt.
On humanitarian grounds, we appeal to the Israeli government to cease the bombing forthwith and allow the immediate transfer of sick patients to receive appropriate medical care, and also allow free access of medical supplies to Gaza.
Tony Waterston is a paediatrician in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, working mainly mainly in the community with long term conditions, disability, child abuse and social and mental health concerns. His interests are in child public health, children’s rights and global child health and he leads the RCPCH teaching programme in the occupied Palestinian territories.
John Yudkin, Professor Emeritus
Marion Birch, Director of Medact