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Gaza: WHO describes “sickening scenes” in hospital as Israeli military intensifies activity

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q43 (Published 09 January 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q43

Rapid Response:

Dialysis Crisis Grips Gaza’s kidney patients

Dear Editor,

In Gaza, hospitals are confronting a critical dialysis crisis that is significantly impacting kidney patients in urgent need of life-sustaining treatment. The Health Ministry has issued a stark warning, indicating that over 1,100 kidney failure patients face substantial risk due to acute fuel shortages in hospitals [1-3].

The surge in demand for dialysis services has led to overcrowded hospitals, straining resources and creating a hazardous environment for patients. The scarcity of available dialysis machines and medical staff has contributed to this dire situation, leaving kidney patients in a precarious state.

This alarming situation highlights the numerous challenges faced by Gaza's healthcare system, with fuel shortages adding an additional layer of complexity to the existing crisis [4]. Kidney failure patients, already grappling with the scarcity of dialysis services, now face an extra threat to their health and well-being due to the compromised operational capacity of medical facilities [5-7].

This crisis comes at a time when Gaza's healthcare system is already under immense pressure due to various challenges, including resource shortages, infrastructure limitations, and geopolitical complexities. The consequences of the dialysis crisis are severe, jeopardizing the well-being of those dependent on these life-saving procedures [8].

International attention and support are urgently needed to address this escalating healthcare emergency in Gaza [1-3]. Immediate measures must be taken to alleviate the strain on hospitals, ensuring that essential medical equipment and personnel are made available to meet the growing demand for dialysis services. The international community's intervention is crucial to prevent further deterioration of the health conditions of kidney patients in Gaza and to safeguard their right to timely and adequate healthcare.

Citations:
[1] https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2023/10/25/terrifying-hope-shrinks-fo...
[2] https://turkiye.un.org/en/257404-gaza-crisis-another-hospital-facing-dir...
[3] https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/gaza-health-crisis-deepens-chr...
[4] https://www.france24.com/en/middle-east/20231107-how-are-they-going-to-e...
[5] https://www.newarab.com/news/hundreds-kidney-patients-gaza-struggle-agai...
[6] https://www.vox.com/world-politics/2023/11/6/23949597/gaza-al-shifa-hosp...
[7] https://www.emro.who.int/media/news/as-gazas-health-system-disintegrates...
[8] https://uhrelief.org/gaza-dialysis/

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 January 2024
Musaddique Hussain
Assistant Professor
Dr. Ikhlaq Hussain (PGR of urology at Nishtar Medical University, Multan. Pakistan)
The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan