With over 1,000 child amputees, Gaza looking at grisly record

City's collapsed medical system fails to provide the care these children need

Lack of medicine, surgeons, and hygiene in Gaza hospitals lead to complications (photo: DW)
Lack of medicine, surgeons, and hygiene in Gaza hospitals lead to complications (photo: DW)


I used to run and play. I was so happy with my life. But now when I lost my legs my life became ugly and I got sad. I hope I can get an artificial limb.

11-year-old Noor is one of the hundreds of kids who have had their legs amputated in Gaza since the start of the war.

Gaza has seen an unusually high number of child amputees recently. The UN estimates over 1,000 children have had legs amputated in the Palestinian enclave, a significantly higher number than in many other conflicts.

Noor's left leg was almost entirely torn off in an explosion. Now she is afraid she will lose her right leg as well. "It hurts me a lot and I want to go to UAE (United Arab Emirates) because I am afraid that they will have to cut off my other lag," says Noor.

Gaza's collapsed medical system cannot provide the care these children need.

"I try as much as I can to make things easier for them as a nurse. But no matter what you do, they have severe psychological problems. They feel incomplete, with lots of pain. With that, we have a shortage of painkillers and they need it permanently," said Wafa Hamdan, a nurse at European hospital.

Lack of medicine, surgeons, and hygiene in Gazan hospitals are leading to a humanitarian crisis of gargantuan proportions.

Chris Hook, an emergency medicine doctor, said, "Many limbs that have apparently been saved, will go on to require amputation. And many (people with) amputation and limbs that we think have been saved may still go on to die of the longer-term consequences of all this."

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