Hospitals in Gaza overwhelmed, doctor trying to get supplies to those in desperate need

A Palestinian boy, wounded in Israeli bombardment on Gaza Strip, cries in a hospital in Deir al-Balah, south of the Gaza Strip, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, one doctor working on the ground gives an inside account to WTOP's Heather Gustafson.

As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, one Chicago doctor with a team working on the ground in Gaza gives WTOP an account of what they are seeing.

Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of U.S.-based MedGlobal, says his team in Gaza is trying to get healthcare supplies to those in desperate need.

“One hospital in the United States in Chicago has more ICU beds and more ventilators than the whole Gaza Strip,” said Sahloul on Sunday.

“They are piling the dead bodies outside the hospital,” he told WTOP. “They’re worried about contaminating water sources with the decomposing bodies. And I’ve seen videos of emergency rooms full of patients on the floor. They were operating on patients without anesthesia at some major hospitals, and others.”

A Palestinian medic carries a baby wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip into a hospital in Khan Younis, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

Hospitals in North Gaza are overwhelmed with casualties and lacking supplies. There is a fear of running out of fuel to power the hospitals and a shortage of clean water and food.

“Also, they are running out of pain medications, running out of IV fluid,” said Sahloul. “They’re using one gauze instead of 10 gauze to stop the bleeding … they are running out of space. So they are doing surgeries on the floor. Even the morgue is running out of space because there [are] a lot of dead bodies.”

Over the weekend, the Rafah Border Crossing from Egypt to Gaza was reopened, allowing for a small fleet of medical trucks into the area with supplies.

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