Breaking
February 26, 2024

“Born Into Hell”: The Dire Situation Facing Mothers and Newborns in Gaza After 100 Days of War

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Jan 19, 2024

The Gaza strip has been devastated by over 100 days of ongoing conflict. As casualties continue to mount, the most vulnerable suffer the most – pregnant women, new mothers, and infants. Their situation is dire, with healthcare systems overwhelmed and critical shortages of power, clean water and medical supplies.

Trauma Replaces Joy for Mothers Giving Birth

Giving birth is traumatic enough in peaceful times for women in Gaza due to restrictions on movement. But under air strikes and shelling, it has become perilous and harrowing. Women rush to shelters while in labor, some giving birth en route. Others deliver babies at home due to road closures, with no skilled birth attendants present. (Source)

The fear and panic is also taking a devastating toll. Officials report hundreds of women have miscarried due to the terror and displacement. Compared to before the recent escalation began in October, miscarriages have risen an alarming 300%. (Source)

Hospital Systems Overwhelmed Despite Aid Efforts

Gaza’s healthcare system was already strained before the latest clashes due to 15 years of Israeli blockade. Now, hospitals are overwhelmed by the influx of wounded and the damage to infrastructure. Key medical supplies are running low or nonexistent – antibiotics, anesthetics, laboratory materials and more. Generators, fuel and clean water are also in critically short supply. (Source)

Despite emergency aid deliveries, the situation remains dire. Operations are being performed without anesthesia, and elective surgeries postponed. Even basic sanitation is a challenge. UNICEF Deputy Director Ted Chaiban called it “a health system that has been brought to its knees.” (Source)

Infants Face Soaring Malnutrition Rates

At least 135,000 infants and small children in Gaza are at risk of malnutrition according to UNICEF. For babies under six months, the situation is especially acute since mother’s milk is their only source of nutrition. But constant fear and upheaval is affecting lactation. New mothers struggle to feed their hungry newborns amidst the chaos. (Source)

Thousands of Newborns “Born Into Hell”

Despite the turmoil, life goes on in Gaza. An estimated 20,000 babies have been born since October according to UNICEF. But birth defects are rising sharply in the territory due to direct hits on maternity wards and from mothers’ extreme stress levels.

Deputy Director Chaiban minces no words about the environment these infants are entering:

“Babies in Gaza are being born into a living hell, with essential maternal and neonatal health care under severe strain,” he said. “The health of pregnant women and newborn babies is seriously deteriorating, a situation compounded by the spread of waterborne diseases.” (Source)

Date Metric Change Source
Oct 2023 Miscarriages per month 100 Jezebel
Jan 2024 Miscarriages per month 400 ” “
Oct 2023 Birth defects percent 2% Arab News
Jan 2024 Birth defects percent 5% ” “

Table: The crisis in Gaza has caused miscarriages to quadruple and birth defects to more than double.

Menstrual Hygiene Another Casualty

The war is even impacting women’s access to menstrual hygiene products and underwear. Many have had to fashion makeshift sanitary items from pieces of tents, cloth and paper. Dignity-related psychological issues are rising. (Source)

Calls for Ceasefire and End to Children’s Suffering

The international community is speaking out against the crisis. British MP Dianne Abbott declared: “The children of Gaza have suffered enough.” (Source). Others are emphasizing Gaza’s maternity crisis and urging humanitarian corridors be established for pregnant women.

But so far, clashes continue unabated. The war shows no signs of slowing, much less stopping, anytime soon. And Gaza’s mothers and babies remain trapped on the front lines, their futures more uncertain than ever.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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