UNSEEN ENEMY: Doctors in Gaza Battling Superbug Epidemic
Fahed Zuhud was shot in the thigh by Israeli soldiers in February 2018 but because of superbug infections the wound hasn’t healed and he may still lose his leg.
Doctors in Gaza and the West Bank warn they are battling an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, a growing problem in the world’s conflict zones and one that risks spilling over borders and diminishing the global medical arsenal against serious illness.
The rise and spread of these virulent infections adds to the devastation of war, increasing medical costs, blocking hospital beds because patients need longer care and leaving people whose injuries might once have been healed with life-changing disabilities. <SNIP>
Shortages of water, power and fuel for generators mean doctors often cannot meet even basic hygiene standards. Staff sometimes can’t even wash their hands, sterilising machines are unreliable, and there are shortages of gloves, gowns and chlorine tablets for sanitising the hospitals, medical professionals say.
“This is a global health security issue because multi-drug resistant organisms don’t know any boundaries,” said Dina Nasser, lead infection control nurse at Augusta Victoria hospital in East Jerusalem who has also worked in Gaza. “That’s why the global community, even if it’s not interested in the politics of Gaza, should be interested in this.”