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Tens of thousands of pregnant women in Gaza are in danger, aid workers say

Thousands of pregnant women in the Gaza Strip who are expected to give birth this month are in grave danger because they are not able to reach a medical facility to deliver, an aid agency says.

Guillemette Thomas, medical coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in the Palestinian territories, said women have already given birth in UNRWA schools that have turned into shelters housing tens of thousands of displaced people.

“These women are in danger and the babies are in danger right now,” she said. “That’s a really critical situation.”

According to the U.N. population fund, there are 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza. Some 5,500 of them are due to give birth in the coming month, meaning 166 births per day, the U.N. agency said.

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Earlier Sunday the U.N. health agency said that at least 130 premature babies are at “grave risk” because of a lack of fuel at Gaza hospitals. Thomas said some of them could die within hours.

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