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Thousands of pregnant women in Gaza suffer from malnutrition, health authorities say.

When Wafaa al-Kurd was nearly due to give birth, she said, she weighed less than she did before becoming pregnant and was surviving on rice and artificial juice.

She gave birth to a girl weighing nearly six pounds, named Tayma, just over two weeks ago, she said. Since then, her husband has spent his days scouring markets in northern Gaza, where the family lives, trying to find enough food for his wife to breastfeed and keep Tayma alive.

Nearly 60,000 pregnant women in Gaza are suffering from malnutrition, dehydration and lack of proper health care, according to the Gaza health ministry. In a statement on Friday, the ministry said that about 5,000 women in Gaza were giving birth every month in “harsh, unsafe and unhealthy conditions as a result of bombardment and displacement.”

The ministry added that about 9,000 women, including thousands of mothers and pregnant women, had been killed since Israel’s bombardment and invasion began in early October.

The United Nations and aid agencies have warned that famine is looming in the besieged enclave, where health officials reported that at least 25 people, most of them children, died from malnutrition and dehydration in recent days.

Dr. Deborah Harrington, an obstetrician working at Al Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza, said the expecting and new mothers she treated had not received nearly enough pre- and postnatal care, risking both their lives and their babies’.

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