The World Health Organization welcomed the first medical evacuations of injured patients from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday but emphasized that thousands of injured civilians and those suffering from chronic illnesses also required medical attention.
Ambulances brought injured citizens to nearby Egypt for emergency medical attention, outside the Palestinian territory.
Since Hamas terrorists rushed across the border on October 7, Israel has aggressively pummeled Gaza, according to Israeli sources, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and abducting at least 240 more, including children.
Since the war with Israel broke out, around 8,800 Palestinians have died, according to the health ministry in Gaza, which is governed by Hamas. More than 22,000 individuals have been injured, and over 3,600 children have lost their lives.
The WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean regional branch said in a statement, “The World Health Organization welcomes Egypt’s decision to accept 81 injured and sick people from the Gaza Strip for treatment,”
According to Palestinian sources on the ground, 88 patients are anticipated to be transferred across.
Al-Arish Hospital, located in the largest city nearest the border, will serve as the primary first referral hospital, according to the WHO.
“It has fully equipped resuscitation and intensive care facilities, and a range of surgical teams to manage severe injuries, including major trauma and burns,” the organisation said.
Onward referral arrangements to second-line hospitals in Egypt are also in place, it added.
The WHO noted that "thousands of seriously injured civilians" in the Gaza Strip needed medical attention, even as it welcomed the initial evacuations.
It stated that more than 2,000 patients are receiving cancer treatment, more than 1,000 patients require kidney dialysis to survive, 45,000 people suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and more than 60,000 have diabetes.
“These patients must be able to have sustained access to health care inside Gaza. Hospitals and other health facilities must be protected from bombardment and military use,” the UN health agency said.
Before October 7, there weren't many specialized medical facilities in the Gaza Strip, thus about 100 patients a day required care outside of the region.