World Health: The impact of the Gaza war extends to the health systems in neighboring countries

Written By Mark

Hanan Balkhi, Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean at the World Health Organization, said on Tuesday that health care systems in countries neighboring the Gaza Strip are under pressure due to the evacuation of thousands of critically ill patients with complex injuries for treatment in these countries.

She added that there is a “major impact on Egypt, Lebanon and Syria as countries directly neighboring the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The organization reported that less than half of Gaza’s 36 hospitals have been partially operational since May 30, due to the destruction of most of the medical infrastructure in the Israeli aggression that has continued for 8 months.

Hanan Balkhi continued in a press briefing, “Egypt hosts a large number of patients, but there is a need for evacuation, treatment, and support for at least 7,000 and more than 11,000 patients… in specialized hospitals.”

This led to increased pressure on “already fragile health systems in neighboring countries.”

“It’s not like stitching a wound,” she added, referring to the common injuries among patients in Gaza.

“You’re talking about compound fractures, skull fractures, compound femur fractures, ruptured internal organs,” she said. “It’s very difficult to find this type of care and move patients quickly to receive it.”

The organization said that it had not carried out any medical evacuation operations since May 7, after Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing.

The closure of the crossing in the southern Gaza Strip also greatly affected the organization’s ability to deliver essential medical supplies to the Strip.