UNICEF warns that 420 children die or are injured every day in Gaza
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned of an increase in mortality among women, children and newborns in Gaza who "disproportionately bear the burden of escalating hostilities in the occupied Palestinian territory." without access to health services. Specifically, it ensures that 420 children die or are injured every day in the Gaza Strip.
The UNICEF warning was joined by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency (UNFPA) and the World Organization of Health (WHO).
To date, 2,326 women and 3,760 children have died in the Gaza Strip, representing 67% of the total victims, while thousands more have been injured.
Shelling, damaged or non-functioning health facilities, massive displacement, collapsing water and electricity supplies, as well as restricted access to food and medicine, are severely disrupting maternal, newborn and child health services.
67% of the total victims
To date, 2,326 women and 3,760 children have died in the Gaza Strip
International organizations confirmed that there are an estimated 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, of which more than 180 give birth each day. 15% of them are likely to suffer complications related to pregnancy or childbirth and require additional medical care.
In addition, they noted that these women cannot access the emergency obstetric services they need to give birth safely and care for their newborns. With 14 hospitals and 45 primary care centers closed, some women are having to give birth in shelters, at home, on the street amid rubble, or in overflowing health facilities, where sanitation is worsening and the risk of infection and complications is increasing. medical care is increasing.
Given this situation, Unicef foresees an increase in maternal deaths, given the lack of access to adequate care. The psychological toll of hostilities also has direct – and sometimes deadly – consequences on reproductive health, such as increases in spontaneous abortions, stillborn babies, and stress-induced premature births.
Before the escalation, malnutrition was already high among pregnant women, impacting child survival and development. As access to food and water worsens, mothers struggle to feed and care for their families, increasing the risks of malnutrition, illness and death.
According to Unicef, “the lives of newborns also hang by a thread. “If hospitals run out of fuel, the lives of around 130 premature babies who rely on neonatal and intensive care services will be threatened as incubators and other medical equipment will stop working.”
More than half of Gaza's population is now sheltering in UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) facilities with inadequate supplies of water and food, leading to hunger and malnutrition, dehydration and the spread of waterborne diseases. .
Lack of water and medicines
Likewise, UNRWA's initial assessments recorded 4,600 displaced pregnant women and some 380 newborns living in these facilities requiring medical attention. More than 22,500 cases of acute respiratory infections have already been reported along with 12,000 cases of diarrhea, which are especially worrying given the high rates of malnutrition.
For all these reasons, UN agencies sent life-saving medicines and equipment to Gaza, including supplies for newborns and reproductive health care. Despite this, they stressed that “much more is needed to meet the immense needs of the civilian population, including pregnant women, children and newborns.”
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