Children Bear the Brunt: Gaza Clinic Sees Only Child Patients Amidst Blocked Aid and Escalation in Violence

  • Doctors Without Borders reports all patients at Gaza clinic on Wednesday were children, highlighting the impact of the blockade on medical care.
  • The recent escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a high number of child patients, with buildings including schools and hospitals demolished.
  • Ongoing conflict leaves 1 million children at risk of injury or death, with long-term consequences such as disrupted education and mental health issues. Rebuilding efforts will be necessary once the conflict ends.

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Doctors Without Borders reported that all patients treated at their clinic in Gaza on Wednesday were children. This comes as relief groups in the Palestinian territory expressed concern about the impact of blocked aid on their ability to provide medical care. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant recently declared a “complete siege” of Gaza, and as a result, doctors and aid organizations are seeing a majority of child patients.

Doctors Without Borders stated that on Wednesday, 100% of the patients at their Gaza City clinic were children between the ages of 10 and 14. This is because women and children are often the most affected by airstrikes as their homes are frequently destroyed.

The escalation in violence began after Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, launched a surprise attack on southern Israel, resulting in numerous casualties, including children. Israel retaliated with devastating airstrikes, demolishing buildings, including schools and hospitals. There are concerns that a ground invasion may occur soon.

Gaza, a densely populated area of about 2.3 million Palestinians, has been subjected to a blockade by Israel and Egypt since 2006. This blockade restricts the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza and is a major concern for organizations like Doctors Without Borders and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

Shortages of essential supplies such as water, electricity, fuel, and medical equipment are becoming critical in hospitals, according to humanitarian organizations. Access to essential medical supplies is severely limited, and aid organizations are struggling to provide necessary assistance.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas is having severe impacts on the mental health and well-being of children and civilians in Gaza. With a population where nearly half are under 18 years old, approximately 1 million children are facing the threat of injury or death.

As of October 11, Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 260 children, and the situation is taking a toll on the mental health of those affected. The long-term consequences, including disrupted education and an influx of trauma patients, are expected to be significant when the conflict eventually ends.

According to the United Nations, the counterattack by Israel has resulted in the deaths of around 830 people in Gaza. The focus will eventually shift towards efforts to rebuild and repair the damages once the conflict subsides.

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