Gazan hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients as strikes continue to mount from the Israeli side, in addition to shortages of fuel for medical equipment. While many of the patients need surgery, the lack of access to drugs means that the medical facilities cannot properly conduct such procedures. The International Red Cross has reported that the war between Israel and Gaza has taken a devastating toll on the availability of medicine, and access to medical care is running dangerously short.
Not only is access to medicine strained, but Gazan doctors are forced to perform surgery without using anaesthetic or other drugs to dull the pain of the patient. The medical staff have resorted to using other methods to distract patients from the procedure, such as singing songs or using massaging techniques. Such practices are no doubt traumatising for the patients, yet often it is the only option available to them.
The extent of this crisis is very severe, and Red Cross workers have spoken out about the difficult situation Gazan people are facing. Humanitarian aid workers have revealed that the hospitals in Gaza are struggling with the number of patients, which is likely to increase, yet access to materials and supplies is restricted by the ongoing conflict. Consequently, the patients must endure more pain during the surgery than they would if drugs were available.
The lack of medical supplies, and consequently the lack of drugs, begs the question of whether a humanitarian effort is necessary in order to alleviate the torment faced by Gazan patients. In the face of difficult political and military issues, ordinary people are facing extraordinary suffering. As desperate as the situation may seem, it is possible for the international community to act and help the people of Gaza. The Red Cross is calling for more resources to be sent to the locals living in the area, to ensure that they have the necessary medical care, and drugs to perform surgery under a safe and sanitary environment.