Desperate doctors in Gaza forced to operate on patients without painkillers

Doctors in Gaza are operating on patients without the right painkillers, the chief of a relief agency has said.

Essential supplies of morphine and other painkillers in the Palestinian region, which has been besieged by Israel since October 9, are now dwindling.

Leo Cans, the head of mission in Jerusalem for Doctors Without Borders, told CNN: “We currently have people being operated on without having morphine.

“It just happened to two kids.”

He added: “We have a lot of kids that are unfortunately among the wounded, and I was discussing with one of our surgeons, who received a 10-year-old yesterday, burnt on 60 per cent of the body surface, and he didn’t end up having painkillers.”

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The care provider said there was “no justification” for Israel continuing to block “essential medicine” from arriving in Gaza.

Israel has allowed more than 50 trucks containing aid to enter Gaza recently but according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, the supplies are a “drop in the ocean”.

The head of a neonatal unit in a Gaza hospital has warned it will run out of fuel within the next 48 hours.

Dr Hatem Edhair of Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, said: “Half of these children are on CPAP (pressurized air) machines and oxygen machines.”

He added: “If the hospital runs out of fuel, half of these babies will die in less than 24 hours.”

Doctors treating premature babies across Gaza have warned that at least 130 are at “grave risk” across six neonatal units because of worsening fuel shortages.

“We are working around the clock,” Dr Edair said.

“We need to save these babies.”

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