UPDATED 8 AUGUST
At this moment the only Christian hospital in Gaza, founded by CMS in 1882, is struggling to provide critical health care during the current crisis – and has itself been the victim of airstrikes.
As of 7 August OCHA (the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) reports that 1,869 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 1,380 civilians, of whom 423 are children and 224 are women. 167 Israelis have been killed, including 64 soldiers, two civilians and one foreign national. 373,000 children require psycho-social support. 202,000 people were displaced in UNRWA and government emergency shelters. 65,000 displaced people have had their homes destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
Since the beginning of the military action, the staff at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City has maintained around-the-clock presence, receiving wounded people and providing them with critical medical care.
The medical team at Al Ahli receives a patient.
Like the other hospitals in Gaza, Al-Ahli hospital is experiencing shortages in medicine, fuel for electrical generators, food for patients, and food parcels for many in the community seeking this help.
Besides this, the hospital buildings themselves have been damaged during airstrikes.
Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani reports: "The impact of the airstrikes has caused structural damages to the hospital, including its ventilation system in the operating theatre and the emergency room. In addition, windows have been broken in many buildings, as well as in the new diagnostic centre.”
the hospitals latest situation report was published on 2 August, when it had already taken in 1,420 cases since the beginning of the Gaza emergency:
- Al-Alhi has opened its doors to the family members of the wounded (being treated at the hospital) who are desperate with no place to go and have sought refuge at the hospital. Care is provided to those family members (food, lodging, psychosocial support, etc.)
- Coordination with other hospitals is taking place with Al-Alhi focusing on covering some shortages of the medicine and medical supplies.
- Since the beginning of the emergency, Al-Alhi added extra beds and hired additional staff (that are able to reach the hospital - many regular employees could not get to work) in order to respond to the massive need.
- Al-Alhi surgical team has mostly been dealing with explosion injuries and traumas including: abdominal injuries, bone injuries, chest injuries, soft tissue injuries and different types of burns.
- currently treating 38 patients suffering from severe injuries
- on average 45 burns cases a day as a result of the war; of which 50 per cent are children
- on average 30 new cases a day suffering from wounds
- on average 150 new cases a day (mostly children) affected by inadequate hygiene (partly because of big amounts of garbage not collected), lack of water, and food shortages. Children suffer chest infections, diarrhea, rash and scabies.
Al-Ahli hospital has calculated it needs £300,000 to make repairs and to continue to treat the increased number of patients during and after the crisis. Among the needs are antibiotics, food parcels to the needy and psychological and social support for those traumatised.
The hospital needs:
How you can help:
- Fuel to produce electricity in order to run the surgery theatres and keep running essential equipment that keeps patients in critical conditions alive.
- Medical supplies, medicine and antibiotics
- Orthopedic supplies for the high number of cases of broken limbs, etc
- Food and non-food items for patients and their families that have sought refuge to the hospital
- Linen, hospital beds, mattresses and pillows.
- New equipment for post-war treatment and rehabilitation of injured
- New staff to stand to up to the need of responding to and supporting patients and their families
- Donate now – the money we receive will be passed directly to the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East (which runs the hospital) for the Al-Ahli Hospital Appeal
- Pray for peace – In a recent communication related to South Sudan, the Archbishop of Canterbury said we should "batter the gates of heaven" with our prayers for peace. Surely the same must be said of Israel-Palestine. Let's pray for all the wounded, the bereaved and all those working hard to help them at Al-Ahli hospital.