31 premature babies were evacuated from the besieged Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza on Sunday and transferred to another hospital in the southern Gaza Strip, in cooperation with the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the World Health Organization. He said on Social media.
Emergency medical workers from the Red Crescent and the World Health Organization, a United Nations agency, transported the infants by ambulance to the Emirates Crescent Maternity Hospital in Rafah, where they are receiving urgent care.
The World Health Organization said in a statement that 11 of the children were in critical condition and that they were all suffering from serious injuries. Two others died before the evacuation could be completed, according to the agency.
“Unfortunately, none of the infants were accompanied by family members, as the Ministry of Health has only limited information and is currently unable to find close family members,” the agency said.
UNICEF, which said it was involved in the “extremely dangerous” evacuation effort, said conditions for the children were “rapidly deteriorating.” She said that the babies were transferred in temperature-controlled incubators to Al-Hilal, where their condition was stabilized and cared for in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Officials in Gaza and Egypt said the children would be transferred across the border to Egypt for treatment, although the timing is unclear. On Sunday, the Gaza Ministry of Health published a list of the names of 31 evacuated infants and issued an invitation to their families to go to the hospital to identify them, adding that parents may be able to join the children in Egypt. UNICEF said it was helping to identify and register children in order to help reunite families.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, published a picture On X, formerly Twitter, an employee wearing a blue UN helmet and bulletproof vest is shown picking up a young child. The children, along with six health care workers and 10 family members of hospital employees, were evacuated “under extremely critical and high-risk security conditions,” he wrote.
While Israel’s push to seize Shifa Hospital has led to a struggle for survival there in recent days, doctors and health officials have warned that the nearly 40 premature babies in incubators in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit are at particular risk of death. Doctors at Al-Shifa Hospital said some of them were born to mothers who were killed in air strikes or died shortly after giving birth. Some of them were the only survivors in their families.
Medical workers placed the babies together on beds, hoping for the best as fuel to power the incubators — as well as dialysis machines, ventilators and other life-saving equipment.
Since November 11, at least 40 patients, including at least four premature babies, have died in Al-Shifa Hospital due to a power outage, the United Nations said on Saturday, citing hospital officials.
Fighting has been raging in and around the Shifa area for more than a week. The World Health Organization said in a statement that more than 2,500 civilians, patients and staff left the facility on Saturday after receiving an evacuation order from the Israeli army. The agency described the hospital as a “death zone.”
But the World Health Organization and health officials in the south have warned that hospitals there are already too stretched to accommodate new patients being evacuated from Shifa Hospital and other hospitals in the north.
Al-Hilal Hospital, the maternity hospital where premature babies were transferred on Sunday, published a Video from the neonatal intensive care unit The day before, an unnamed doctor said that Al Hilal would also run out of fuel by Monday.
The doctor says that for premature babies, “this is like a death sentence that is executed the moment the electricity goes out.”
Israel has been reluctant to supply fuel to Gaza for fear that Hamas, the Palestinian group that runs Gaza, would use it in its war with Israel. Israel recently began allowing small quantities of fuel to enter the Strip, but the United Nations and relief organizations say that this quantity is far too small to be able to address the growing humanitarian crisis there.
Iyad Abu Huwaila And Abu Bakr Bashir Contributed to reports.
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