American doctor describes 'incomparable' impacts on children in Gaza 

An American doctor on Sunday detailed the worsening circumstances of Gaza’s medical facilities and dwindling supplies, describing it as “incomparable,” to the various other war zones she has worked in.

Nahreen Ahmed, a critical care specialist from Pennsylvania, reflected on her two-week work stint in Naseer, Gaza, during an interview with CBS News’s “60 Minutes,” published on Sunday.

“We have mass casualties coming in in waves at [the] hospital. That’s happening at least three or four times a night,” Ahmed said, adding later, “So…a regular day for me was seeing children with shrapnel injuries I have never in my life seen before, with traumatic brain injury. Death happening in a fully treatable situation because the supplies are not available.”

Ahmed told CBS News that medicine and supplies shortages are worsening the conditions in Gaza.

“It’s basic medications. It’s pain medication. There’re people getting limbs amputated without any anesthesia,” she said. “That’s what we’re seeing on a day to day basis. And I can tell you that things that we have put into the pipeline to get to Gaza can often take weeks to months.”

Asked how the situation in Gaza compares to other war zones she has worked in, Ahmed said, “It is– incomparable, I would say.  I don’t think I’ve seen this many– children affected in any of the other war zones I’ve ever been to.”

Her remarks echo those of other recent warnings from humanitarian agencies, including the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO), who called the enclave a “death zone,” last week.

More than 29,000 people have died in Gaza since the onset of Israel’s war with Palestinian militant group Hamas in early October. The war was sparked by Hamas’s surprise Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel that left about 1,200 people dead and saw about 250 others taken hostage.

Calls for a cease-fire in the conflict have increased in recent weeks as the death toll in Gaza — which has been ruled by Hamas since 2007 — continues to climb. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netaytanhu has largely rejected these calls, arguing it would be a “victory” for Hamas if Israeli forces do not eliminate the group.

Ahmed also spoke on the experience of operating and performing medical procedures on those injured while the area around medical facilities is bombarded by fighting.

“I don’t think I’ve been this close to the sound of missile strikes– with the house shaking, where the hospital is shaking while I’m trying to operate in the ICU,” she said, adding later, “We go into, like, medical mission mode. So bombs going off or not– we are absolutely focused on what’s in front of us. Is it terrifying? Yes, of course. Do we think about it after the fact? Absolutely.”

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