Providing medical care in conflict stricken places

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bmjAug 2014: "Israeli forces attack medical facilities in Gaza and destroy brand new hospital"

Homes, medical facilities, schools and infrastructure have been destroyed and people are killed and injured; nowhere is safe in Gaza and medical aid is difficult to deliver. Basic medical supplies including gloves, needles, bandages are almost exhausted, with little medication available, with medical facilities have being targeted this puts medical practitioners and patients at risk.

Oct 2014: Supplies continue to be low due to blockade. "Still in emergency phase" - dealing with backlog of injuries where patients were sent home to make room in the hospital.

Nov 2014: Read about Nisreen, living in Gaza, and her struggle with bureaucratic and financial barriers to getting cancer treatment in the West Bank, and worrying about the future for her 13 year old sons. (WHO EMRO)

Dec 2014: Life under blockade. Only 82% of 1,684 patients applying for permits to exit Gaza via Erez for medical treatment in December were approved. Referrals to hospitals in Israel have also declined, partly as a cost saving measure. Due to restrictions at the Rafah border (only open for 3 days in both directions 4 in total), referrals to hospitals in Egypt are also low. 249 patients missed their hospital appointments due to delays in the approval procedure.  WHO report


phrAug 2014: A report from a medical resident in anaesthesia, known as Dr B

"[Dr B] and his colleagues live in constant fear of additional attacks, anxious that another rocket will fall and demolish their hospital and all those inside"

One car bomb explosion close to a hospital meant four casualities had to be driven to Turkey for treatment, and all died as a result of their injuries. At the beginning of the conflict, Dr B had to drive ambulances himself, across the border to Turkey. 

Lack of personnel means specialists must treat conditions outside of their own expertise. Many patients are victims of torture as well as those injured by shelling and bombing.

Oct 2014: Read about the report on Syria entitled "Squandering humanity". Forty-five percent of public hospitals in Syria were out of service as a result of the crisis by the end of 2013



Aug 2014: "According to the Ministry of Health, two central governmental medical supply and drug stores in Tripoli and Benghazi were looted and destroyed. Drugs, medical equipment and supplies are now running dangerously low" - WHO report

Oct 2014: "The Ministry of Health has warned of a possible collapse of the health system after the evacuation of 3000 health workers from the Philippines and India (accounting for 80% of Libya's hospital staff). There is a growing concern about low stocks of vaccines and medicines for chronic diseases and chemotherapy." - WHO report