• Rafah

  • Monday, January 29, 2024 at 6:30:57 AM
    Last Update : Monday, January 29, 2024 at 6:41 AM

Infants Facing Health Risks in Rafah Displacement Camps Due to Lack of Milk

(AWP) - Newborns in Gaza are facing health risks due to the lack of proper nourishment through suitable baby milk with the Israeli war on the Strip in its fourth month.

International organizations say the vast majority of Gaza’s population, estimated at around 2.3 million Palestinians, have been displaced and are living under harsh living conditions due to Israel’s war since October 7.

Bashar Obeid, a Palestinian man who lives in a displacement camp in Rafah, southern Gaza, said, “My daughter is 25 days old. There is no breastfeeding or suitable baby formula. She needs baby milk but drinks the type of milk for infants over the age of one, whose immunity can tolerate it. There is no healthy food available for the mother to consume either, and that is why there is no appropriate breastfeeding or suitable baby milk.”

Um Mohamed, a displaced Palestinian woman, said she and her family arrived at the displacement camp while her baby was only 10 days old.

She said, “She drinks milk for older babies which is not good for her. The milk she gets is for infants over one year but we have no other alternative. The infants here are not fed well in these conditions inside the tents. We want food for this baby and only baby milk is good for her, but it is not available and we have to rely on ration milk.”

Emad al-Hams, a doctor at the Kuwaiti Hospital, said that the lack of milk, specifically for babies under one year old, has meant that people have resorted to using milk from the aid supplies.

“This milk is meant for babies over a year old because it is heavy on the stomach and causes constipation and digestive problems. Its harms outweigh its benefits,” he explained.

Dr Hams added, “This is all due to the closure of crossings and lack of entry of the necessary baby milk, consequently causing malnutrition. We have noticed many cases that we used to see abroad, but which are now present in Palestine amongst babies from one month to one year old.”