Security issues complicate the situation in Gaza

MSF faces major problems in obtaining access to the wounded. Security conditions still prevent medical teams and humanitarian aid workers from providing aid to a population that has nowhere to flee and finds itself trapped.

The lull in fighting is not helping humanitarian aid workers do their job, or patients to reach hospitals. It affects only Gaza City, not the urban areas on the outskirts. Our post-operative care clinic in Gaza City is open every day, but given the risks, very few patients manage to get there.

Our Palestinian medical team continues to provide care in the immediate area of their place of residence, but these activities are also very limited in comparison to the enormous needs.

On Wednesday, January 7, our teams visited three schools housing displaced persons. They evaluated the medical needs there and distributed medical supplies and medications. There are doctors in the group and they are providing care.

Our field teams are in constant contact with Palestinian hospitals and report that hospital workers are exhausted by the flow of wounded patients, especially at night.

An MSF surgical team is currently in Jerusalem. It includes a vascular surgeon, general surgeon, nurse/anesthetist, operating room nurse and an anesthesiologist specialized in intensive care. MSF hopes that they will be able to enter the Gaza Strip as soon as possible. This team will support the Palestinian medical teams at the Shifa referral hospital.

MSF is also awaiting final authorization to bring in 21 tons of medical supplies, including two inflatable tents. The tents would be used to increase intensive care in-patient capacity and, possibly, set up an additional operating room. An MSF logistician will also join the field teams to set up these facilities.