Strengthening obstetric and newborn care in conflict-torn Gaza through UNFPA

The escalation of the situation in the Gaza Strip has led to a humanitarian crisis. According to the UN, an 1,7 million people are currently internally displaced. This accounts for 75% of Gaza’s total population. Although the humanitarian needs are immense, the access for help faces constraints.

(Pregnant) women, and children

Especially the situation of women and girls in Gaza is concerning. Amongst them, pregnant women seeking healthcare during their pregnancies and deliveries are even more vulnerable. According to UNFPA, an estimated 155,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women are currently living in Gaza. Around 5,500 women are giving birth every month, who have no access to safe delivery services. Hospitals and clinics have been subject to attacks, and the inability to access food, medicines, and health care has led to an immensely dire situation for (pregnant) women and their children.

Along with partners, UNFPA is working to help provide critical life-saving services to (pregnant) women and their children in Gaza. Hospitainer has therefore been blessed it could partner with UNFPA, to provide our containerized clinics for obstetric and newborn care.

Maternitainer/BEmONC

Hospitainer has delivered three 20ft shipping containers for Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC). These containers provide a safe and clean delivery room where women can give birth in a private sphere. Next to obstetric and newborn care, the clinic can be used to treat survivors of gender-based violence. To operate in a resource-constraint environment like the Gaza Strip, the solution is self-sufficient and has all needed medical inventory, including (delivery) beds, sterilizers, ultrasound, and more equipment for diagnostics and treatment. The clinics are equipped with all essential installations to run independently from existing infrastructure. This includes air- and water filtration and heating and cooling systems, electricity, and power supply through a generator.

CEmONC

In addition, Hospitainer delivered two 40ft shipping containers for Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC). These containers included a delivery and recovery room for non-surgical deliveries, a space for storage and sterilization, and an operation theatre. The availability of the OT provides the opportunity to also perform C-sections. Next to the medical inventory for BEmONC, these clinics have all the necessary medical equipment for C-sections and other (general) surgeries, such as an anesthesia machine and an electrosurgical unit. The unit also comes with an incubator for comprehensive care for premature babies. These containers also hold all technical installations to run independently.

The work of UNFPA becomes increasingly important after the attack on Rafah, and the further deterioration of the situation in which humanitarian assistance is provided. We hope women will find their way to the clinics of UNFPA and its partners, and their children can have a safe start in life amidst this crisis.