WHO chief says 9,000 patients in Gaza require urgent evacuation abroad

About 9,000 patients stuck in Gaza require urgent evacuation abroad, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday.

With healthcare infrastructure all but collapsed in Gaza, Tedros said on X thousands needed treatment for cancer and kidney dialysis as well as for injuries sustained during the conflict.

Tedros said more than 3,400 have already been evacuated, but many more need are awaiting Israeli approval to leave 

"We urge Israel to speed up approvals for evacuations, so that critical patients can be treated," he said. "Every moment matters.”

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Friday that Gaza's partially functional hospitals can only provide "limited services" and are overwhelmed with patients. They are also facing "critical shortages of fuel, medicines, medical supplies, and health personnel.” 

It added that more than 400 attacks on healthcare infrastructure in the Gaza Strip had been documented by WHO as of March 12, affecting some 100 ambulances and nearly 100 health facilities.

Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of hiding behind civilians in Gaza's hospitals and other medical facilities, allegations the militant group denies.

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