WHO Warns Disease Could Have Bigger Impact Than Bombs in Gaza

The health system is in need of repair in the Gaza Strip, or more people could die from disease than from bombings, the World Health Organization warns. Figures from the United Nations show that over 15,000 people have been killed in Israel’s bombardment of the enclave, with around 40% of them being children. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, leading to concerns about the health system’s ability to handle the situation. The WHO expressed concerns about a surge in infectious diseases, particularly diarrhea in children, due to lack of clean water and crowded living conditions. UN reports also indicate that there is a lack of medical supplies, vaccination activities, and access to safe water and hygiene, with a high number of diarrhea cases among infants. Most hospitals in Gaza have shut down due to bombings or lack of fuel. The collapse of Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza is described as a “tragedy”, and there are concerns about the detention of medical staff by Israeli forces during a WHO evacuation convoy. The situation was described as dire, with hospitals full of children with burns, shrapnel wounds, and gastroenteritis from drinking dirty water.