MSF emergency coordinator in Gaza: “I have heard women giving birth in latrines”

It is estimated that there are 50,000 pregnant women in the Gaza Strip and that some 180 give birth every day in inhumane conditions, according to the World Health Organization. Women are forced to give birth to their children in plastic tents, after several months without any type of medical check-up, and those who manage to give birth in a hospital are discharged a few hours later and have to leave with their newborn babies. Born to unhealthy stores.

MSF emergency coordinator in Gaza, Pascale Coissard, admits from the Emirati Maternity Hospital in Rafah that “being a new mother in Gaza is very difficult. The situation these women are in is very complicated because they do not have a house to stay in. Most of them are in stores. “If they are lucky enough to be in tents, some don’t even have tents, they have a piece of plastic and they have to live under it with their children.” “Not everyone has access to hospitals to give birth. I have heard from women who have given birth in latrines next to the tents where they live. In addition to this, once they have given birth, perhaps they don’t even have clothes for their newborn,” says Pascale Coissard excitedly. In addition, it must be taken into account that the first 24 hours of delivery are the ones with the highest risk of complications, so it is crucial to keep patients in the hospital for as long as possible.

The image of thousands of children living in unhygienic and inhumane conditions in the Gaza Strip is already common, and there will be many more – warns Doctors Without Borders – if the bombings are not stopped and a war that is close to being over is put to an end. the four months. The MSF emergency coordinator in Gaza assures that what they need to be able to face these crises is “that the women and mothers of Gaza can give birth, can have their babies in conditions and that this war stops. A ceasefire and peace so that they can return without having to think that their children will be living under bombs.”

The Emirati hospital in Rafah, where Doctors Without Borders staff care for dozens of Palestinian women in labor every day, is completely overwhelmed. and faces a critical shortage of medical supplies.

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