In the NICU, a monitor next to a baby’s incubator flashes the warning: “Leaking fresh gas”.
“It’s not leaking; the sensor just isn’t functioning properly,” Abu Hamida said, pressing buttons on the screen, attempting to fix it.
At al-Rantisi Pediatric Hospital in Gaza City, children with chronic kidney disease undergo hemodialysis three times a week for two to four-hour sessions in order to stay alive.
Their only other alternative to the machines would be to undergo a kidney transplant, but finding a compatible kidney is difficult.
In the past six years, there have been seven kidney transplants for Gaza patients; three in Gaza, two in Israel and two in Jordan, explained Dr Jomaa Waleed Younis.
“If there’s no electricity, there’s no life for them because their situation is very critical,” Younis said.
For now, the hospital prioritises electricity for departments that need it most; once a department is done with its treatment, the electricity is passed onto the next department.
Najwan al-Samnai is worried about her eight-year-old Yahia. Due to the shortage, Yahia sometimes undergoes sessions for three hours instead of four, which affects his health.
“It affects his breathing, his blood pressure; he comes back home with more weight,” al-Samnai said.
With 33 percent of essential medicines at zero stock and patients unable to receive exit permits for treatment in Israel or the Occupied West Bank, doctors are pessimistic about Gaza’s situation.
Mohamed el-Ron, head of al-Shifa’s surgery department, spent two years working as a doctor in besieged Sarajevo during the war in Bosnia in the early 90s.
“During the war in Bosnia, I never felt as if we didn’t have any hope,” el-Ron said. “We were always hoping that we would reach an agreement soon and that the war would end.
“Here, we have nothing. People in Gaza have lost all hope. We’re just waiting for the worst.”
source : Al jazeera