A Doctor's Desperation: Witnessing Unprecedented Tragedy and the Urgent Plea for Ceasefire in Gaza
By: Nour Elshenawy
In an exclusive interview with Dr. Mohammed Ghneim, a dedicated medical professional and a Chevening graduate from Aberdeen University, the harrowing realities of the ongoing conflict in Gaza have been laid bare. Dr. Ghneim, who has devoted nine years of his life to Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, shared his first-hand experiences, shedding light on the dire situation and pleading for international intervention.
Daily Struggles at Al-Shifa Hospital:
Dr. Ghneim painted a vivid picture of the daily challenges faced by medical professionals at Al-Shifa Hospital. The current wave of aggression has disrupted their lives, with sleep and proper meals becoming elusive. The emergency department, normally a place of healing, has transformed into a makeshift home as doctors and nurses work tirelessly to cope with an overwhelming influx of casualties.
Insufficient Medical Supplies and Heartbreaking Realities:
In an emotional recounting, Dr. Ghneim spoke about the acute shortage of medical supplies, medications, and anesthesia, leaving him and his colleagues feeling helpless. The scarcity of resources has led to tragic outcomes, particularly among children, with the collapsing healthcare system unable to provide adequate care.
Photo by: Dr. Mohammed Ghneim
Denial of Weaponry Presence:
Refuting claims made by certain news outlets, Dr. Ghneim vehemently denied the presence of any weaponry or weaponry storage rooms affiliated with Hamas within Al-Shifa Hospital. He replied with an adamant "No, no, no" when asked. He also emphasized that the hospital's primary purpose is to provide medical care and not to serve any political or military agenda.
Lack of International Aid:
Despite assurances from international organizations regarding aid to Gaza and Al-Shifa Hospital, Dr. Ghneim expressed frustration at the lack of tangible assistance. He described the hospital's routine of compiling lists of urgently needed medications, supplies, and devices, highlighting the apparent gap between promises and actual relief on the ground.
Al-Shifa Hospital as a Target:
Expressing bewilderment, Dr. Ghneim questioned why Al-Shifa Hospital, a place meant to be protected under international humanitarian law, has become a consistent target. He speculated that the hospital's significance, hosting specialist units treating the disabled, might be the reason for its specific targeting, signaling an attempt to dismantle the healthcare system in Gaza.
Current Situation and Plea for Ceasefire:
Providing an update on the aftermath of the Israeli infiltration of Al-Shifa Hospital, Dr. Ghneim described a dire situation. With a dwindling number of doctors and nurses, patients face increasingly challenging conditions with limited access to basic necessities. He expressed deep concern for the physical and mental well-being of his colleagues and patients. He also mentioned a tweet by Ahmed Elmekhalalati, the head of the plastic surgery department, stating that, “He has become very weak, there is no food, clean drinking water, or electricity, and he is incapable of taking care of all these patients on his own. I have also not heard any news recently about the fate of these doctors, nurses, and patients.”
Unprecedented Bombings and Humanitarian Crisis:
Dr. Ghneim conveyed the unparalleled horror of the current bombings, surpassing any previous aggressions he had witnessed. The scenes of devastation and the toll on human life, particularly among children, left him feeling utterly helpless. According to the Ministry of Health, over 8,000 children have lost their lives in just 49 days, marking an unimaginable humanitarian crisis.
Urgent Call to Humanity:
In a heartfelt plea, Dr. Ghneim conveyed a powerful message to the global community. Describing the situation as a severe humanitarian crisis and a test for humanity, he asserted that “Humanity has failed.” Urging for an immediate and complete ceasefire, he emphasized the urgent need to save the healthcare system, assist the people of Gaza, and protect the most vulnerable. He also mentioned the number of times people came and told him, “Doctor, please take care of this kid; they are the only survivor of the entire family,” which he describes as heart-wrenching words to process.
Dr. Mohammed Ghneim's poignant testimony serves as a stark reminder that the situation in Gaza demands immediate attention and intervention from the international community. As the world watches, the urgency to address the humanitarian crisis and put an end to the ongoing suffering has never been more critical. He ended the interview with a message to the world, “If humanity wants to fix what they have done in the past days, please push for a ceasefire immediately! It needs to be done now! A complete ceasefire, not a temporary one; help the people of Gaza, save the healthcare system, help the kids, help the women, help the elderly; it’s a horrible genocide! You need to help stop this genocide!”