ISQua, along with the rest of the world, is horrified and upset by the most recent and unprecedented violence in Israel and Gaza. As a community involved at all levels of health care, we stand against the injuring, killing, and taking hostage of civilians, health care workers and patients.
We stand in solidarity with the doctors, nurses, care assistants, paramedics and patients who are currently taking shelter in medical facilities in Gaza with constant fear of death or injury. We salute those who continue to try to deliver the best possible care under the worst imaginable circumstances.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, on the 10th November, stated that since the 7th of October, WHO has verified more than 250 attacks on health care in Gaza and the West Bank, in addition to 25 attacks on health care in Israel – hospitals, clinics, patients, ambulances. Over half of the Gaza Strip’s 36 hospitals and two-thirds of its primary health care centres are not functioning at all. Those that are functioning are operating way beyond their capacities. (https://www.un.org/unispal/document/world-health-organization-chief-briefing-security-council-on-war-in-gaza-joins-calls-for-immediate-ceasefire-unfettered-humanitarian-access-news-item/)
Premature and newborn babies on life support are reportedly dying due to power, oxygen, and water cuts at Al-Shifa Hospital, while others are at risk. Staff across many hospitals are reporting a lack of fuel, water and basic medical supplies, putting the lives of all patients at immediate risk. This is abhorrent and must not continue.
We echo the statement of Dr Tedros on the 15th of November (https://x.com/DrTedros/status/1724861718881255802?s=20):
“One thing is clear: under international humanitarian law, health facilities, health workers, ambulances and patients must be safeguarded and protected against all acts of war.
Not only that, they must be actively protected during military planning. Even if health facilities are used for military purposes, the principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality always apply.
The safety of patients and staff, as well as the integrity of the health care systems in the wider community, are of paramount concern. International humanitarian law must be respected.”
We urge the international community to advocate for secure passage into Gaza of humanitarian aid, water and food to reach those in dire need.
On behalf of the Board and the entire ISQua community, we take this opportunity to declare our full support for this message.