By Nour Abu Aisha
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – An acute power crisis has taken a heavy toll on hospitals and medical centers in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
In a statement on Monday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said a total of 16 medical centers have suspended services over the crisis since Jan. 29.
“Emergency generators have stopped at three hospitals because of the outages, including a children's hospital,” ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement.
The emergency generator has shut at the sole medical center in al-Nusairat district in central Gaza Strip, the spokesman said, warning of grave health consequences of the fuel crisis on the lives of patients in the blockaded Palestinian territory.
Home to nearly two million people, the Gaza Strip boasts a total of 13 Ministry-run hospitals and 54 primary health care centers that account for roughly 95 percent of all health services in the coastal enclave.
Gaza, which continues to groan under a decade-long Israeli siege, has struggled with severe electricity shortages since 2006.
Although the territory requires an estimated 600 megawatts of electricity, it currently receives only 120 megawatts from Israel and another 32 megawatts from Egypt.
Gaza's sole functioning power plant, meanwhile, is only able to generate 60 megawatts of electricity, according to the Palestinian Energy Authority.