Gaza health authorities struggling as war casualties swell

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Gaza children affected by Israeli air strikes © UNICEF/El Baba

At least 132 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, since the start of the latest hostilities between Israel and Palestine, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The death toll includes 30 children and 11 women.

WHO says the number of wounded has surpassed 1,000, among them 381 children and 186 women.

Dr Mahmoud Daher from the WHO office in Gaza says more than half of the children killed or injured were below the age of five.

He says health facilities in Gaza are struggling to cope with the rising number of casualties and that emergency medical supplies were running out.

"Out of the total figure, many children and women are affected. Among the children more than 50 per cent are those below the age of five even. The Jordanian field hospital sustained damaged in the medical wards as a missile penetrated the two roofs of the hospital. The problem with the hospitals is not staff, the shortage of supplies and drugs is the main problem. More than 50 percent of the essential drugs list is below one month consumption rate and in such conditions coping with increasing number of casualties will be problematic as has been seen in the past couple of days."

The World Health Organization has sent out an appeal for $10 million to help restock medical supplies in Gaza.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

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