LWF medical team tending to injured in Gaza

The medical team about to set off from Augusta Victoria Hospital. Photo: LWF

“We feel their pain and stand with them”

(LWI) - A team of doctors and nurses from the Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital, in Jerusalem, is in Gaza supporting medical teams tending to Palestinians wounded by Israeli forces earlier this week.

In addition to the team of specialists, supplies of medicine and medical goods worth 25,000 euro Gaza were also sent. The team is working out of Al-Shifa hospital.

The LWF responded to a call from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) to assist in responding to the healthcare crisis in Gaza.  

May 14 saw an escalation in violence and disproportionate use of force against demonstrators at the Gaza border. In the past three days more than 3000 people have been injured.

The Augusta Victoria Hospital team reported that the situation is extremely difficult. Injured are being brought to the hospitals, but there are insufficient staff, supplies and infrastructure to properly care for them. The WHO has asked for additional emergency doctors and nurses.

Gaza was already facing a crisis of medical personnel, medicine and supplies, having been under blockade for more than 10 years.

Augusta Victoria Hospital chief executive officer, Walid Nammour, praised the role of the Palestinian humanitarian team in its work to provide medical assistance. “We do not merely sympathize with the people in Gaza, we feel their pain and stand with them.”

LWF Jerusalem program representative, Pauliina Parhiala, said health facilities in Gaza continued to be insufficient to meet the urgent medical needs. Besides the number of wounded and hurt, some medical staff had been injured. Health facilities, such as ambulances, have been damaged.

“These add to the overwhelming situation the Gaza health care finds itself. The capacity is simply not meeting the needs. It is worrying as the Gaza health services are already limited and suffering from shortages of medicines and supplies. Fuel and electricity crisis continues,” she said.

“With the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the high number of individuals still not having received adequate treatment, the LWF expects the emergency needs to peak tomorrow.”

The Lutheran World Federation called for utmost restraint and work towards the de-escalation of the conflict in a recent statement.

By LWF Jerusalem and Office for Communication Services