Over 13 years of blockade and closure undermined health care provision to residents of the Gaza Strip. Now the health care sector is struggling to provide the basic needs of people in COVID-19 isolation centers.
S.H.S. and her 10-month-old infant both tested positive for COVID-19. She spoke to Al Mezan about her struggle to take care of her child inside the isolation facility:
“My test result came back positive; I probably contracted the virus from my husband, but my baby’s result were negative at first. I was therefore admitted by myself to the isolation center. The next day, I was shocked to see my baby’s name included in the list of patients who tested positive for the virus. He was then brought to me to the school which is supervised by the European Gaza Hospital (a school transformed to house COVID-19 cases). He was suffering from diarrhea, vomiting and was extremely tired. I was not provided with food suitable for a child of his age; he gets the same meal as adults. I continuously asked those in charge of the isolation facility to provide my baby with diapers, milk and baby cereals. These basic needs were only provided after multiple and repeated requests. Furthermore, I’ve asked many times if my son could have some toys to play with but to no avail. I reside in Gaza and it’s difficult to bring his toys to the isolation facility (in Khan Younis). In addition, this place was setup without any consideration to personal privacy, and no effort is made to gather members of the same families in one place. The lack of toys and other equipment makes it a struggle to care for children and puts additional burdens on mothers (who are also battling COVID-19)”.