Press Release

Humanitarian Operations and Supply Routes Must Be Protected to Help the Civilians of Gaza

International Medical Corps, which currently is operating two field hospitals in Gaza addressing the urgent medical needs of civilians there, is calling on all parties in the conflict to safeguard the delivery of healthcare, protect medical responders and facilities, and ensure access to quality care for civilians caught in the fighting.

Recent escalating conflict in and around Rafah has caused hundreds of civilian casualties and resulted in the closure of the majority of health facilities in the area. International Medical Corps’ 160-bed field hospital in Al Mawasi, which is now the only functioning trauma centre in the region, has seen a dramatic increase in recent days in patients admitted to its emergency department, including a 600% increase in gunshot wounds, a 500% increase of blast and fragment injuries, and a 50% increase in burn injuries. Staff have been working around the clock to provide emergency care, including 120 lifesaving surgeries from May 26–28, even as the fighting has come dangerously close to the hospital and living quarters. Supplies are running short, and International Medical Corps may be forced to cease operations in the area if it is not possible to protect staff and to resupply the hospital.

International Medical Corps opened the Rafah-area hospital in early January, and since then has provided more than 60,000 civilians with a wide range of services, including trauma and emergency care, inpatient and outpatient care, and comprehensive obstetric and newborn care. The hospital offers these services alongside integrated nutrition, mental health, child protection, and gender-based violence prevention and response services, as well as water- and hygiene-related facilities and services. International Medical Corps also opened a 50-bed field hospital in Deir al Balah, in middle Gaza, in May. It offers a similar range of care, with a focus on maternal and child health services.

Before the most recent surge in violence, the Al Mawasi hospital in Rafah had been treating as many as 1,500 patients per day.

Civilians in Gaza need a place where they can safely seek and receive healthcare and related services. Humanitarian workers require protection, as well as adequate supplies, to perform this essential work. International Medical Corps calls on all parties involved in the fighting to respect civilian lives and adhere to international humanitarian law.

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