Pregnant women residing in Gaza compelled to undergo cesarean sections without any anesthesia under torchlight amidst the ongoing bombardment.

Pregnant women in Gaza are reportedly undergoing cesarean section deliveries without anesthesia and in dimly lit conditions due to the continuous bombardment by Israel. According to Soraida Hussein-Sabbah, a gender and advocacy specialist at ActionAid UK, based in Ramallah, the West Bank, the chaos and horror unleashed in Gaza is having devastating effects on women.

The hospitals in Gaza are facing dangerous conditions, with complex medical procedures such as C-sections and major surgeries being performed using only the light from a phone torch, while bombs fall around them. Among the vulnerable groups suffering from shortages of medical equipment, food, and water, are the approximately 50,000 pregnant women living in the Gaza Strip. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in Gaza, where more than half of the 2.1 million population are children, around 160 births are expected to occur every day.

According to a previous report by the United Nations, pregnant women in Gaza are facing a dire situation due to the ongoing siege and airstrikes in response to Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel. The report revealed that a pregnant woman was discharged from a hospital just three hours after giving birth to make room for other patients. Additionally, medical consultants in Khan Younis have described the immense stress that pregnant women are experiencing due to displacement from their homes and the need to change health centers that were previously monitoring their condition.

The United Nations Population Fund has emphasized the need for immediate healthcare and protection for pregnant women, as many are experiencing difficulties in accessing primary care and follow-up sessions throughout different stages of pregnancy. This lack of regular check-ups has resulted in significant challenges for pregnant women. Due to the scarcity of resources in the region, tens of thousands of civilians have been compelled to seek aid and power at hospitals. Unfortunately, the strip’s resources have been severed, exacerbating the situation.

The medical teams at these hospitals are currently overwhelmed and have been tirelessly working around the clock since the beginning of the escalation. Dr. Mohammad Abu Salmiya, the director of Al Shifa hospital, expressed the immense strain they are under. Furthermore, the hospital’s operations heavily rely on a very limited fuel supply. If this supply is depleted, there is a possibility that the hospital may need to be repurposed as a mass burial site.