West News Wire: The steady churn of dialysis machines. The drip, drip, drip of blood from IVs in a rhythm. The faint sound of life-support machinery sustaining the lives of infants in incubators, with tubes constantly passing through their tiny bodies.
Weeks of Israeli shelling, which has struck several hospitals in the beleaguered enclave in recent days, have left Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the middle Gaza Strip operating normally in stark contrast.
However, the major Gaza hospital is also severely impacted by the power and water shortages brought on by Israel’s assault following Hamas’s October 7 strike, which has already forced the closure of over half of Gaza’s 35 hospitals.
Babies in incubators and dialysis patients connected to fuel-dependent equipment are particularly vulnerable, particularly since Al-Aqsa is the sole facility for kidney patients in the central Gaza Strip governorate, Khalil al-Dakran, the hospital’s spokesperson, told news reporters.
“If electricity and water outages persist and fuel depletes, patients will be transferred to mass graves if the aggression continues,” al-Dakran warned.
“And the world [just] watches,” he continued bitterly.
Al-Dakran stated that the hospital was forced to reduce the number of weekly dialysis sessions for patients as well as the duration of dialysis treatments, which were formerly four hours to two and a half hours.
In addition to being afraid of bombs going off all around them, patients are also afraid of not getting the care they require.
Maryam al-Jayar, a displaced lady, told reporters, “I undergo dialysis three times a week, waiting for hours on crowded roads, terrified.”
“We wait for dialysis for a very long time from dawn to night. all the while the bombing keeps going. Nesma Sharir, a different kidney patient, stated, “Now I get shorter and less frequent dialysis and on top of that with water and electricity shortages the dialysis process itself is not working right and can cause blood clots.”
Concurrently, the battle is putting too much strain on Al-Aqsa’s neonatal critical care unit.
There, nurse Warda al-Awawda keeps an eye on the infants resting inside the incubators by hovering above them.
According to Al-Awawda and her colleagues, there have been a significant number of newborns admitted to the intensive care unit, including premature babies and babies hurt in the bombings.
Al-Awada informed Sanad that she had seen moms with their kids, or newborns on their own, arrive on various forms of transportation, including donkey carts in certain situations. She also mentioned that sometimes the travel the babies had to take to get to the hospital contributes to their deteriorating health.
Certain infants are brought into hospitals in the tender yet tense embrace of an individual who has just rescued them from under the rubble and wants them to get the care they need as fast as possible and there are no stretchers available.
The nurses there are working harder, but not without difficulty, to care for the infants. The hospital is having severe difficulties finding basic supplies, such as the soap required for hand sanitization.