“The hospital is overwhelmed by the number of victims,” describes emergency physician Raphaël Pitti

During his stay in the Palestinian enclave, the emergency doctor sent us voice notes to testify to the disastrous state in which Gaza finds itself.



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Emergency physician Raphael Pitti (center) in Syria, February 20, 2023. Illustrative photo.  (OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP)

He is one of the figures of war medicine. Emergency physician Raphaël Pitti returns on Tuesday February 6 from the Gaza Strip where he spent almost 15 days in a hospital between Rafah and Khan Younes for two associations: Palmed and Mehad.

Raphaël Pitti’s base camp in Gaza was located at the European Hospital. Some sort of tents were summarily set up in the corridors. The place resembles a courtyard of miracles, both a place of care and refuge for thousands of families. “This confusion is terriblesays the emergency doctor. The hospital is overwhelmed by the number of injured, victims and sick people. There are 400 places, there are 900.”

“There is a terrible lack of hygiene in the hospital”

In the voice notes and videos that Raphaël Pitti sends. He describes a medicine for destitution, which is done on the ground, in critical conditions for the tens of thousands of injured: “There is a terrible lack of hygiene in the hospital. There are a lot of infections, and even if some patients are operated on with the intention of preserving their limbs, in the days that follow, there is an infection bones which require amputation.”

Around him, the war doctor feels the bombings getting closer while the situation in Rafah is almost no longer tenable: “The city is in a totally desperate situation, there is practically no space left.” In Rafah in what Raphaël Pitti shows, the streets are crowded, and food remains inaccessible mainly because of the prices.

“We can find food but it is very expensive. The price of an egg is practically around the euro, no one can have one.

Raphaël Pitti, emergency doctor

at franceinfo

And this creates extreme tensions in a society which was until then accustomed to solidarity. “Very quickly the fights explodesays Raphaël Pitti. There are a few thieves on the run who get caught and a whole crowd jumps on them. It happened a few days ago where someone was caught trying to steal: a whole crowd ran behind him to try to lynch him.” Raphaël Pitti believes that Gaza is one of the worst humanitarian situations he has experienced, what he describes resembles the collapse of a society.

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