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16 June, 2024
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4,000 lives lost in a single blast

The heartbreaking toll of conflict on Gaza's IVF hopefuls


In the midst of conflict, even the most unexpected victims are not spared from tragedy, as evidenced by the devastating impact on IVF embryos in Gaza, according to a report by Reuters.

In December, an Israeli shell struck Gaza's largest fertility clinic, causing an explosion that ruptured five liquid nitrogen tanks in the embryology unit. The resulting temperature rise inside the tanks led to the destruction of over 4,000 embryos, along with 1,000 specimens of sperm and unfertilized eggs stored at Gaza City's Al Basma IVF center.

The loss of these embryos was catastrophic for hundreds of Palestinian couples who saw them as their last hope for overcoming infertility. For many, the embryos represented years of emotional and financial investment, and the destruction shattered their dreams of parenthood.

Despite the challenging circumstances in Gaza, where nearly half the population is under 18 and the fertility rate is high, couples facing infertility have pursued IVF as a means to start or expand their families. However, the cost of treatment is significant, and some couples have had to make difficult sacrifices, such as selling belongings, to afford it.

One such couple, Seba Jaafarawi and her husband, underwent three years of fertility treatment before Seba became pregnant through IVF in September. However, their joy was short-lived as conflict erupted between Israel and Hamas, putting Seba's pregnancy at risk. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of war, Seba's pregnancy ended in miscarriage, adding to the emotional toll of the conflict.

The destruction of the Al Basma IVF center further compounded the tragedy, as the remaining embryos stored at the clinic were lost in the attack. For clinic founder Bahaeldeen Ghalayini, the loss of these embryos represented the loss of thousands of potential lives, a heartbreaking consequence of the violence that has plagued Gaza.

Source: Reuters

Cyprus  |  Gaza  |  Israel  |  victims

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