As hospitals in Gaza grapple with overwhelming challenges, CARE’s Nour Beydoun spoke with Huffington Post about the harsh realities faced by expectant mothers and their children. CARE’s Hiba Tibi was also quoted in the article.
Here are a few excerpts:
Critical reproductive and maternal health care have especially deteriorated, according to CARE, a humanitarian organization focused on helping women and girls in conflict.
In Rafah, the city in southern Gaza where tens of thousands of people fled amid Israeli evacuation orders, there’s now only one active hospital that was designed to accommodate 30 to 40 daily appointments for pregnant patients, CARE’s Nour Beydoun told HuffPost.
The Palestinian territory is home to around 55,000 women who are currently pregnant, CARE reported, mostly relying on figures from the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which shares daily situational reports and statistics.
“There is no doctor, midwife, or nurse to support women during labor. There is no pain medication, anesthesia, or hygiene material when women give birth,” Hiba Tibi, CARE’s acting deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement last week.
Women in Gaza have experienced a 300% increase in miscarriage due to the lack of neonatal and maternal health care in the region, CARE reported via the Al-Shifa Hospital manager in Gaza City.
A lack of menstrual hygiene products has caused an increase in infections in women and girls who are using unsanitary fabric or clothing while on their periods, Beydoun told HuffPost. CARE created 3,500 “dignity kits,” which include menstrual hygiene materials and products as well other essentials like nail clippers and hair brushes. The kits are being prepared for transport to Rafah, but Beydoun said it’s unclear if CARE will be able to get anything over the Gaza-Egypt border and distributed.
Read the full article here.