UN / GAZA HOSPITALS SITUATION

Preview Language:   Original
20-Nov-2023 00:04:55
The World Health Organization (WHO) senior official Michael Ryan told reporters, “we are seeing a complete collapse of the higher-level infrastructure of the Gaza health system,” adding that it is very hard to maintain good data of the injured and deaths in a situation where health systems are collapsing. UNIFEED

Available Language: English
Type
Language
Format
Acquire
/
English
Other Formats
Description
STORY: UN / GAZA HOSPITALS SITUATION
TRT: 4:55
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 NOVEMBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

20 NOVEMBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Program:
“We've had great difficulty in updating the detailed disaggregated numbers that we've been providing to you all over the last number of weeks. The estimates for fatalities and deaths at this point is very unclear. But it continues to rise. There is no question of that. The last verified numbers we had were last Friday, which was just over 11,000 fatalities, but it has certainly risen and since then, the Ministry of Health in Gaza have reported obviously, much higher numbers with that. And we will continue to try and get back to having more detailed disaggregated data. But again, this is one of the unfortunate things that happens in a situation like this where health systems are collapsing, it is very hard to maintain good data.”
4. Wide shot, press briefing room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Program:

“Beyond the risks of direct wounds and injuries which are very severe, we're seeing large numbers of people packed into refuges, packed into UNRWA schools, packed in to various other kinds of centers. This is creating a concentration of people which is driving epidemic risks and the rains over the last 24 hours have really added to that. There really has been heavy rain. It has flooded a lot of the makeshift camps, and it is generating all kinds of risks. And it's not just the risks of diarrheal disease, the sudden drop in temperature is going to create a problem with pneumonia in children, with the stress that those kids are under, the nutritional status that those children have, make it a recipe for epidemics. This is an absolute recipe for large scale epidemics amongst this population. And that as a public health risk right now will begin to approach the same level as the injury crisis that we have on the crisis and the hospitals.”
6. Wide shot, press briefing room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Program:

“Our biggest fear at the moment is also a shift or another movement of patients. 1.7 million people have already been displaced. There is a real risk that many of them will be displaced again, and again the further concentration of people in ever smaller areas pushing out to the West Coast is only increasing and increasing and increasing the risks to those populations – be it from injury, but more importantly, be it from the public health risks. So we really do need to take a step back here, understand the risks that are being taken and hopefully have a ceasefire, hopefully have all of the hostages released, and hopefully get to a position where we will have unfettered access with our UN partners and NGO partners to support all people affected in this crisis.”
8.Wide shot, press briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Program:
“We've got a huge demand from the existing injured, we've got a huge potential demand on the system - 5,500 women are going to give birth in the next month. Fifteen (15) percent of them will need a cesarean section, 25 percent of their children will be born preterm. That is thousands of babies, that's not 31, 29 or 38, that is literally thousands of babies will be born who will be preterm and will need those incubators, will need that kangaroo care, will need their mother with them to be able to provide that, and some of them will need intubation, some will need mechanical ventilation. There's over thousands of patients on cancer therapy. We have thousands of diabetics, thousands of people with severe hypotension - the normal things of life. We have 20,000 people in need of urgent psychiatric care, the only psychiatric hospital has been closed as well. So we are seeing a complete collapse of the higher-level infrastructure of the GAZA health system. It is just the most basic needs that can be met now.”
10. Close up, journalist asking questions
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Rob Holden, WHO Senior Emergency Officer:
“The focus again, and I reiterate this again, was how we would move 31 critically ill babies, while essentially under fire in six ambulances through a war zone, keep them alive and hand them over to the specialist care that they're required in the south of the country. We didn't go there to assess what the Israelis had done or hadn't done in terms of providing support to the hospital. That's what we were focusing on - our job is to get in and get out safely and to bring those babies alive and to give them the best chance of survival once we got them out and that's what we did.”
13. Close up, journalist asking questions



STORYLINE:

The World Health Organization (WHO) senior official Michael Ryan told reporters, “we are seeing a complete collapse of the higher-level infrastructure of the Gaza health system,” adding that it is very hard to maintain good data of the injured and deaths in a situation where health systems are collapsing.

Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Program and Rob Holden, WHO Senior Emergency Officer today (20 Nov) briefed reporters on the situation of the health sector in Gaza, including the recent evacuation of patients from Al-Shifa Hospital.

Speaking via video link from Geneva, Ryan said, “We've had great difficulty in updating the detailed disaggregated numbers that we've been providing to you all over the last number of weeks. The estimates for fatalities and deaths at this point is very unclear. But it continues to rise. There is no question of that.”

He continued, “The last verified numbers we had were last Friday, which was just over 11,000 fatalities, but it has certainly risen and since then, the Ministry of Health in Gaza have reported obviously, much higher numbers with that. And we will continue to try and get back to having more detailed disaggregated data.”


The Senior WHO official highlighted that the scale of injuries, the need for supplies, the inability to move around within the strip, and the inability to do that safely has placed huge strains on all of the UN community and NGO community to serve the people on the ground.

He continued, “Beyond the risks of direct wounds and injuries which are very severe, we're seeing large numbers of people packed into refuges, packed into UNRWA schools, packed in to various other kinds of centers. This is creating a concentration of people which is driving epidemic risks and the rains over the last 24 hours have really added to that.”

Ryan added, “There really has been heavy rain. It has flooded a lot of the makeshift camps, and it is generating all kinds of risks. And it's not just the risks of diarrheal disease, the sudden drop in temperature is going to create a problem with pneumonia in children, with the stress that those kids are under, the nutritional status that those children have, make it a recipe for epidemics.”

The WHO official reiterated, “This is an absolute recipe for large scale epidemics amongst this population. And that as a public health risk right now will begin to approach the same level as the injury crisis that we have on the crisis and the hospitals.”

Ryan also said, “Our biggest fear at the moment is also a shift or another movement of patients.”

He explained, “1.7 million people have already been displaced. There is a real risk that many of them will be displaced again, and again the further concentration of people in ever smaller areas pushing out to the West Coast is only increasing and increasing and increasing the risks to those populations – be it from injury, but more importantly, be it from the public health risks.”

“We really do need to take a step back here, understand the risks that are being taken and hopefully have a ceasefire, hopefully have all of the hostages released, and hopefully get to a position where we will have unfettered access with our UN partners and NGO partners to support all people affected in this crisis,” the WHO official added.

He also said that there will be “a huge potential demand on the system - 5,500 women are going to give birth in the next month. Fifteen (15) percent of them will need a cesarean section, 25 percent of their children will be born preterm.”

“There's over thousands of patients on cancer therapy. We have thousands of diabetics, thousands of people with severe hypotension - the normal things of life. We have 20,000 people in need of urgent psychiatric care, the only psychiatric hospital has been closed as well,” Ryan conclude.

A second WHO-led joint UN mission, working in collaboration with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, earlier Sunday evacuated 31 babies from Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza to a hospital in southern Gaza.

Briefing from Rafah, Rob Holden, WHO Senior Emergency Officer reiterated that the focus was how to move 31 critically ill babies, “while essentially under fire in six ambulances through a war zone, keep them alive and hand them over to the specialist care that they're required in the south of the country”

He continued, “We didn't go there to assess what the Israelis had done or hadn't done in terms of providing support to the hospital. That's what we were focusing on - our job is to get in and get out safely and to bring those babies alive and to give them the best chance of survival once we got them out and that's what we did.”

The severely ill babies were transported in 6 ambulances supplied and staffed by the Palestine Red Crescent.

Other mission members included UN Mine Action, UNICEF, and UNRWA.

Sunday’s mission was deconflicted with the Israel Defense Forces and the de facto authorities.

Over 250 patients and 20 health workers at Al-Shifa all request immediate evacuation.

Planning is ongoing to evacuate the remaining patients, their families, and the healthcare workers.

Given the complex security and logistics constraints, these evacuations will take several days to complete. Priority will be given to the 22 dialysis patients and 50 patients with spinal injuries.

WHO reaffirms its respect for the dedication, professionalism, humanity, and courage of the health staff who have continued to care for their patients under unimaginably difficult conditions.

WHO reiterates its plea for collective efforts to bring an end to the hostilities and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

WHO calls for an immediate ceasefire, the sustained flow of humanitarian assistance at scale, unhindered humanitarian access to all of those in need, the unconditional release of all hostages—many of whom have serious medical needs—and the cessation of attacks on health care and other vital infrastructure.
Series
Category
Geographic Subjects
Creator
UNIFEED
Alternate Title
unifeed231120h
Asset ID
3145797