WHO: 600 patients missing from Gaza’s Al-Aqsa Hospital after Israeli hostilities- Video

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it has no information about the locations of hundreds of patients and health workers at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in the Gaza Strip.

In a social media post in the early hours of Monday morning, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world health body has received “troubling” reports about increasing combat operations and evacuation orders “near the vital Al-Aqsa Hospital in the Middle Area of Gaza” forcing “over 600 patients and most health workers to leave.”

“Their locations are not currently known,” he said.

He noted that staff from WHO and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) visited Al-Aqsa, the largest medical complex in the besieged strip.

“During today’s mission, we were informed that evacuation orders and lack of safety had forced most health staff to leave. Tonight’s reports indicate that only 5 doctors remain. Hospital management said health workers had no food,” the WHO chief said.

Adhanom added that his staff witnessed “sickening scenes” of patients of all ages being treated on blood-streaked floors and in chaotic corridors.

He noted that the hospital has also reported urgent requirement of health workers, medical supplies and beds and their greatest need “to be protected from strikes and hostilities.”

“The WHO team delivered medical supplies to support 4,500 patients needing dialysis for 3 months and 500 patients requiring trauma care,” Adhanom said in his post.

“Al-Aqsa is extremely short-staffed,” he added.

He quoted the Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as saying that they have been forced to withdraw their staff working at Al-Aqsa Hospital and cease activities due to increasing military activity around the complex.

“Al-Aqsa is the most important hospital remaining in Gaza’s Middle Area and must remain functional, and protected, to deliver its lifesaving services,” the WHO chief wrote.

He warned that further erosion of the hospital’s functionality cannot be permitted because “doing so in the face of such trauma, injury and humanitarian suffering would be a moral and medical outrage.”

Adhanom stressed the need to put an end to Israel’s “bloodbath” in Gaza, saying no hospitals are fully functioning in the north of the Strip, where another WHO mission was canceled due to “dangers and lack of necessary permissions.”

He noted that a mere handful of health facilities operate in other parts of Gaza, slamming the “inconceivable” situation that the most essential need — the protection of health care — is not assured three months after Israel launched its war against the besieged strip.

The WHO chief announced the world medical body’s plan to facilitate the much-needed deployment of an emergency medical team in a bid to support the overstretched doctors and nurses of Al-Aqsa.

“This will only be possible in a secure environment.”

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