GAZA: The tiny babies lie side by side, some wrapped in green fabric roughly taped around them for warmth, others wearing only nappies, a picture of vulnerability, their lives in grave danger with every minute that passes.
The newborns are under the care of exhausted medics at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, which is besieged by Israeli tanks battling Hamas fighters, and lacks electricity, water, food, medicines and equipment.
“Yesterday I had 39 babies and today they have become 36,” said Dr Mohamed Tabasha, head of the paediatric department at Al-Shifa, in a telephone interview on Monday (Nov 13).
“I cannot say how long they can last. I can lose another two babies today, or in an hour,” he said.
The premature babies, who weigh less than 1.5kg each and in some cases only 700g or 800g, should be in incubators where the temperature and humidity can be regulated according to their individual needs.
Instead, they had to be moved to ordinary beds over the weekend because of a shortage of electricity, said Tabasha. They were placed side by side, surrounded by packets of nappies, cardboard boxes of sterile gauze and plastic bags.
“I never expected in my life that I would put 39 babies side by side on a bed, each with a different disease, and in this acute shortage of medical staff, of milk,” said Tabasha.
Source: Channel News Asia