Urgent call for ceasefire in Gaza by Alachua County  healthcare workers  

Since Jan. 22, health care workers in Alachua County have been circulating a letter to the Alachua County Commissioners, urging them to pass a county ceasefire resolution. 

So far 100 local health care workers (including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, anesthesiologists, midwives, and many others) have signed the letter. Out of this action, the Alachua County Health Care Workers for Gaza is forming a new community group. Follow them on instagram @alachuahealthcare4gaza or reach out by email at: healthcareworkers4gaza@gmail.com 

The letter is printed below and can also be accessed at tinyurl.com/Iguana1951. Please sign on!

Dear Alachua County Commissioners,

We are health care workers serving Alachua County who urge you to pass the ceasefire resolution (Resolution 24) without delay.

We are writing with a deep sense of responsibility as witnesses to the devastating impact of the ongoing conflict in Gaza. 

As those who are dedicated to preserving life and promoting health, we feel compelled to raise our voices in a unified plea for an immediate ceasefire. We stand united in our commitment to the sanctity of life and our duty to advocate for the health and well-being of all individuals. 

As healthcare workers, we are devastated to witness the immense suffering that Palestinian civilians are experiencing. The severe shortage of medical supplies, infrastructure damage, and the overwhelming number of casualties have left our colleagues in Gaza struggling to provide even the most basic care. A month after the Israeli military assaulted Al-Shifa Hospital, a joint UN mission led by the WHO found that the hospital, while still trying to care for desperately wounded and ill patients, lacked fuel, oxygen, blood for transfusion, staff, food, safe water, and supplies. 

The team saw patients with traumatic injuries being sutured on the floor, with little to no pain medication. According to WHO, 94 healthcare facilities have been attacked since Oct. 7th including 79 ambulances and 26 hospitals. Of the 36 hospitals in Gaza, only 9 remain functioning.

Every moment that the bombardment of Gaza persists, lives are lost, families are torn apart, and the already collapsed healthcare system in Gaza is unable to provide healthcare to patients in need. 

We understand the complexities of the geopolitical landscape and the historical context of the current situation, but we firmly believe that a ceasefire is the necessary first step toward addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of the people in Gaza. 

Only through a cessation of hostilities can the international community begin to deliver essential medical aid, rebuild healthcare infrastructure, and facilitate the evacuation of the injured. 

Our plea for peace is not an endorsement of any particular political stance or solution. It is a call for humanity to prevail over violence, for compassion to triumph over suffering, and for the right to health to be upheld for all people, regardless of their nationality or circumstance. 

In our roles as healthcare providers, we have witnessed the healing power of compassion and cooperation. 

We implore you, as leaders and decision-makers, to prioritize the well-being of the civilians caught in the crossfire. The time to act is now, for every moment lost adds to the anguish of those in need. Let this letter serve as a collective plea for an immediate ceasefire and the initiation of a process that leads to a just and lasting resolution.

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