• Saturday, March 16, 2024 at 6:13 PM
    Last Update : Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 6:12 AM

Doctors in South Lebanon Warn Hospitals May Collapse Due to Hezbollah-Israel Clashes

(AWP) - Doctors in South Lebanon have warned that hospitals may not be able to keep working under the current escalation between the Hezbollah group and Israel, due to a lack of medical supplies.

Fabrizio Carboni, Middle East Regional Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said that escalated fighting on the southern border of Lebanon would aggravate the problems facing hospitals there, already suffering from the economic crisis that has struck Lebanon.

Mo’nis Klakish, Marjeyoun Hospital Director, said that in this period, the hospital has managed to overcome all obstacles, as the staff insist on being present and staying on  their lands.
“As long as we are able to provide medical services, we will certainly do so, although we have little capacity and support,” he stressed.

“Our stock in Marjeyoun Hospital is from some international associations that provide support for us, but it is not adequate. The support that is essential for us to continue comes from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and some global organizations and even NGOs,” he added.

Klakish stressed that measures had been taken to secure the  supplies for Marjeyoun Hospital, but warned that they would not be sufficient.

“As for the war, which could break out in the same way as the 2006 war, we have a plan for enduring the situation, but our stock is limited, and would expire if we did not get the support we needed, particularly with energy, mazut and oxygen. We will have a time limit after which we would not be able to go on without getting these essential materials,” he pointed out.

Workers in the hospital said that the obstacles they face are not exclusive to a potential lack of materials, but also include mental problems, like the staff’s concerns about possible shelling and having to relocate to distant places for their safety.

Rana Sheat, the head of the nursing department in Marjeyoun Hospital, said the medical and nursing team in this hospital, located on the border areas and on a war footing, are more tired mentally than physically.

“We currently have wounded patients, and must conduct very difficult surgeries, as well as facing difficulty with employee transportation, due to the long distances,” she explained.

“The majority of nurses and doctors have relocated due to constant fear from the news of raids, shelling and warplanes over the hospital,”noted Sheat.

Hezbollah and Israel have exchanged rocket and artillery fire across the border for nearly five months, resulting in hundreds of casualties.