MSF reopens its clinic to treat wounded patients in Gaza City
3 March 2008
An MSF team has reopened its clinic in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories, in order to treat wounded patients and support hospitals overloaded by a large influx of patients due to the Israeli incursion in the north of Gaza strip. MSF has also made donations of medical items and essentials drugs to some hospitals in the northern region of the Gaza Strip. Since Sunday, March 2, an MSF team consisting of two medical doctors and four nurses has been able to reopen the MSF clinic in Gaza City in order to offer care to wounded patients and perform some minor surgery. On Friday and Saturday, movements to the clinic were impossible, due to the widespread violence. Today, our team is ready to treat wounded patients, and to give support to the hospitals in the north of Gaza strip and in Gaza City, that are overloaded by a large influx of patients. "The situation is critical," said Duncan Mclean, MSF Head of Mission. "More than 200 people were injuried during the fighting. Most of them have been treated in Beit Hanoun and Kamal Edwan hospitals in the north of Gaza strip, where the attacks are concentrating, and Shifa hospital in Gaza City. Furthermore, there is a lack of fuel for ambulances. Yesterday, ambulances could not circulate and reach patients. Today, enough fuel was available to continue their work for one more day." The intensity of the fighting makes all movement difficult. It seems that some wounded people, living far away from hospitals, could not go by themselves to receive treatment. "When the fighting becomes less intense, some other wounded people may come to the hospitals and health centres," said Mclean. "We are therefore ready to treat quite an important number of patients." There is a lack of drugs and medical items in the hospitals. Since Friday, MSF made donations of medical items and drugs to Beit Hanoun and Kamal Edwan hospitals to ensure adequate care for wounded: dressings, intravenous infusions, drugs for anaesthesia, antibiotics and pain drugs. With a pre-positioned emergency stock in Gaza City, MSF is preparing for further donations to hospitals - mainly Shifa hospital - and to other health structures, according to the identified needs The Israeli incursion in the north of Gaza strip and airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip, in response to rockets attacks against Israel, have reportedly killed 90 people, including civilians. "The civilian populations are suffering on both sides; the Israeli population from the Palestinian rockets, and the population in Gaza strip from the response of Israeli forces," said Mclean "Our main concern today is the access to health structures for all wounded in Gaza strip."