Caseload of 1,350 complex cases and 13,000 injured total would ‘overwhelm any healthcare system in the world’, director says
'The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it is dispatching two teams of conflict and trauma surgeons to the Gaza Strip to help deal with the “massive” care needs and mounting numbers of casualties from weeks of violent protests.
At least 116 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops and 13,000 injured in clashes on the Gaza-Israel border since March in demonstrations against Gaza’s deteriorating living standards and the US’ decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem.
“The recent demonstrations and violence that took place along the Gaza border… have triggered a health crisis of unprecedented magnitude in this part of the world,” ICRC director Robert Mardini told reporters at a news conference in Geneva on Thursday.
Some 60 per cent of those seriously injured have been shot in the legs and need intense physical therapy to recover. Thirty-two people have had their limbs amputated, Gaza’s health ministry has said. Medics fear many people will end up permanently disabled.
“Our priority now clearly is to help gunshot wound victims. Imagine, 1,350 people with complex cases who will need three to five operations each, a total of 4,000 surgeries, half of which will be carried out by ICRC teams,” he said.
“I think such a caseload would overwhelm any health system in the world, including in Geneva.”
The ICRC is setting up a 50-bed surgical unit at al Shifa Hospital in Gaza city, the biggest medical facility for the Strip’s some two million residents, for the next six months.'
Read more: International Red Cross dispatches war surgeons to help Gaza cope with protest casualties