Video: Gaza hospitals warn of “catastrophe”

Gaza’s chronic electricity outages – the power is out up to 21 hours per day – put the lives of hospital patients at risk.

Among those affected are children requiring dialysis treatment at Rantisi Children’s Hospital in Gaza City.

“We never know when the power will be on or off,” says Wijdan Muslih, mother of one such child patient.

The four-hour treatment sessions are disrupted by power cuts, which puts the health of patients at risk and damages the machines.

The children are bored and hot, with no TV to distract them or AC to keep them cool during the dialysis sessions.

“There’s no schedule and sometimes it comes for a brief period, then cuts again,” she added.

“Dialysis takes four hours and the power might go out four or five times,” Atallah Abu Hijia, the father of another young patient, complained.

“This is one of the worst periods we’ve been through, with power down to just three hours a day,” said Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya, director of the pediatric hospital.

Dr. Ayman al-Sahbani, spokesperson at al-Shifa hospital, the largest in Gaza, warned that if backup generators break down, “it will be a catastrophe.”

“We’ve been warning the world about this and we pray to God that this does not happen,” he added.

Video by Ruwaida Amer for The Electronic Intifada.