International Organization: The lives of pregnant women and new mothers in Gaza are turning into hell


Gaza – Ma’an – ActionAid International said that pregnant women in Gaza are suffering from hunger amid severe food shortages, as the entire region remains at risk of famine.

The organization explained in a statement issued today, Monday, that new mothers who recently gave birth in Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza, which is run by Al-Awda Organization, a partner of ActionAid International, are finding it difficult to find anything to eat during their pregnancy, in light of the complete lack of fruits and vegetables.

A recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report found that 95% of the population in Gaza is currently experiencing crisis levels of food insecurity or worse. Pregnant women and new mothers are particularly affected, according to a survey by UN Women, with 99% of pregnant women reporting challenges accessing the food and nutritional supplements they need, while 76% reported suffering from anemia.

At the same time, 55% of breastfeeding mothers surveyed reported health conditio
ns that hindered their ability to breastfeed, and 99% struggled to ensure adequate breastfeeding for their babies.

‘Pregnant women often have nothing to eat at all, and the nutritional supplements we used to give pregnant women are unfortunately no longer available,’ said Dr. Adnan Radhi, consultant and head of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Al Awda Hospital. ‘Women are not getting any food at all, no vitamins, no minerals, no iron, no fruits, no vegetables, nothing.’

‘Women in Gaza are suffering greatly from the war, its devastating effects, its problems and its complications. Added to this suffering is the problem of hunger and imminent famine, in addition to the problems that pregnant women already suffer from, such as lack of primary care, lack of medical follow-up, a sharp increase in the rate of high-risk pregnancies, complications of premature birth, increased cases of miscarriage, and problems such as infections, bleeding and others,’ he added.

ActionAid International has warned that t
he dire humanitarian situation is worsening as thousands of people are displaced from Khan Younis after receiving new evacuation orders. With nowhere safe to go, people are forced to seek shelter in areas already overcrowded with displaced people, putting further pressure on limited resources and increasing the risk of disease and the spread of illness.

‘Pregnant women need a varied and nutritious diet to keep themselves and their babies healthy, but many in Gaza have nothing to eat at all,’ said ActionAid International’s Communications and Advocacy Officer, Reham Jafari.

She added that the lack of food severely affects their ability to give birth safely and breastfeed their newborns, many of whom are born with dangerously low birth weights, and the humanitarian situation remains bleak nine months into this crisis.

The displacement of up to a quarter of a million people from Khan Younis will only exacerbate the disaster.

She stressed that Gaza is in dire need of more aid and a permanent ceasefire now.

S
ource: Maan News Agency