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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
26 April 2009

Health Action in Crises
Highlights No 255 - 20 - 26 April 2009

Each week, the World Health Organization Department for Health Action in Crises in Geneva produces information highlights on the health aspects of selected humanitarian crises. Drawing on the various WHO programmes, contributions cover activities from field and country offices and the support provided by WHO regional offices and Headquarters. The mandate of the WHO Departments specifically concerned with Emergency and Humanitarian Action in Crises is to increase the effectiveness of the WHO contribution to crisis preparedness and response, transition and recovery. This note, which is not exhaustive, is designed for internal use and does not reflect any official position of the WHO Secretariat.


Assessments and Events
In Gaza, UN agencies, MoH officials and health NGOs report that rising poverty, unemployment and food insecurity, compounded by the conflict, have increased the threat of child malnutrition. In January, UNICEF said that 10.3% of children under five were stunted.
Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing for two days, allowing Palestinians needing medical treatment and students to enter Egypt and Gazans stranded in Egypt to return to their homes.

WHO continues to work with all relevant parties to try and facilitate a solution to the stoppage of referrals.
In Gaza, WHO briefed the WASH Cluster meeting on its role in monitoring water-quality and the incidence of waterborne diseases. WHO emphasized the importance of strengthening the national monitoring and surveillance system.
WHO visited the Naser Paediatric Hospital to assess neonatal services as part of the Quality Improvement Project that aims on improving neonatal and maternal health care in hospitals.
WHO and UNICEF are discussing an assessment of the impact of the recent crisis on the psychosocial well-being of people in Gaza.
WHO requires US$ 9.7 million through the Special Appeal for life-saving and recovery needs in Gaza. WHO has received support from OCHA, Italy, Norway and Australia. Spain, Switzerland and ECHO have contributed to the CAP.


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