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Humanitarian Crisis Escalates for Pregnant, Breastfeeding Women in Gaza As Healthcare Declines

Amman: Palestinian human rights organizations have expressed deep concern over the dire conditions faced by women in the Gaza Strip, highlighting the escalating humanitarian crisis affecting the population, particularly pregnant women and those in need of healthcare. In a joint statement, Al-Haq, Al-Filastini, and Al-Mizan human rights organizations emphasized that the Israeli aggression and massacres in Gaza have persisted for 128 days, exacerbating the humanitarian situation with the absence of essential elements for daily life. The statement underscored the vulnerability of pregnant women and newborns in Gaza due to the crippled health system and the scarcity of healthcare resources. It stressed the urgent need for preventive, therapeutic, and nutritional interventions to safeguard their lives. The systematic Israeli attacks on health institutions, including hospitals and primary care centers, have rendered 83 hospitals and health centers inoperable. Additionally, 150 health facilities and 122 ambulance s have been targeted, resulting in the loss of 340 medical staff and 46 civil defense personnel. The obstruction of ambulance teams and the bombing of roads leading to hospitals have further compounded the challenges faced by medical personnel, hindering their ability to provide essential services. Restrictions on the arrival of medical supplies, fuel, and water have severely hampered the functioning of health institutions, particularly those crucial for reproductive health services. According to government agencies in Gaza, over 60,000 pregnant women are at risk due to the lack of healthcare services and safe delivery options. With more than 180 women giving birth daily in Gaza, approximately 15 percent are expected to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth, necessitating additional medical care that is often unavailable, according to the United Nations Population Fund in Palestine. Reports from shelter centers reveal that pregnant women struggle to access healthcare facilities and esse ntial medications needed for childbirth. The shortage of fuel and electricity has adversely affected cesarean section operations, often performed without anesthesia and under unsanitary conditions due to the lack of water and antibiotics. The statement added that the Israeli military aggression has profoundly impacted all residents of Gaza, particularly newborns and young children who face challenges in accessing diapers and infant formula. The soaring prices of essential items compel mothers to resort to inadequate or unsafe alternatives. The human rights organizations urged the international community to take immediate action to halt the Israeli military aggression against Gaza and facilitate the entry of life-saving humanitarian aid, including food, medicine, and fuel. They emphasized the importance of providing additional support to displaced pregnant and breastfeeding women, ensuring access to pre- and post-natal healthcare to prevent further risks to their lives. Source: Jordan News Agency