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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
15 October 2002

Health Inforum News
Volume 1, No.13, 15 October 2002
______________________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of the Health Inforum Newsletter. In our ongoing efforts to provide useful information to the whole of the health community, we continue to welcome any comments or suggestions you might have to help us improve this newsletter. Each Newsletter has had a particular theme. This issue has different topics related to health status in the oPt. If your organization has any information needs that you would like to address, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

New Coverage Maps of Health Facilities in the West Bank

Health Inforum is pleased to announce on launching its new GIS coverage maps of health care facilities for the different stakeholders in the West Bank.
These maps were produced through a joint effort of Health Inforum and the French Consulate in Jerusalem.

Maps are covering the following:

1. Hospitals & Clinics in the West Bank.
2. Hospitals in the West Bank.
3. Clinics in the West Bank.
4. MOH Hospitals & Clinics (by level) in the West Bank.
5. NGO’s Hospitals and Clinics in the West Bank.
6. UNRWA Hospitals and Clinics.

We hope these maps will prove efficiency in serving the health Community and facilitating their work.

Health Inforum would like to express its sincere gratitude to French Consulate and to all of the individuals who have been involved in this effort. It has been a tremendous example of sharing information and cooperation.

For more information refer to Health Inforum Web Portal

http://hart.itcoop-jer.org/Coverage%20Maps/Forms/AllItems.htm



UN Technical Assessment Mission to the oPt (09-18 October)

The United Nations Technical Assessment Mission to the occupied Palestinian territory have arrived on 9th and until 18 October.

The objective of the mission is to implement the recommendation of the Secretary-General’s Personal Humanitarian Envoy (PHE), Ms. Catherine Bertini, that a Technical Assessment Mission be deployed to assess needs and assistance required for refugees and non-refugees on a sectoral basis. The mission will produce a humanitarian plan of action, to include resource requirements. Assuming the temporary nature of the humanitarian emergency and the need to support ongoing development activities, the focus will be on critical humanitarian requirements only.

The mission’s report will be a basis for the humanitarian meeting to be convened in the meeting at the end of October, and constitutes an input provided to the Ministerial-level Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting to be held in fall 2002 (as proposed in the statement of the Quartet dated 17 September 2002). The mission’s report will also be provided to the Executive Committee for Humanitarian Affairs (ECHA).

Health Sector Bi-Weekly Report Number (3)- 16 September 2002,

(John Hopkins, Alquds University and others)

Main Highlights:

· Decrease in the amount of food consumed: 56.3% of households

· Cumulative water interruption: 43.3% of households, 25% West Bank, 59% Gaza; in 22.8% of health facilities, reducing water for drinking and housekeeping/sanitation services
· Diarrheal illness: 23.4% of households in the seventh round · Selling assets: 16.6% of households seventh round, 13.9% WB, 23% Gaza.
· Access to services: more affected in the West Bank than Gaza; cumulative interruptions in services: 33.1% of clinics had to suspend at least one clinical service for 2 or more days in the two weeks prior to the survey interview.
· More than 90% of clinics reporting interruptions in clinical services consistently cite lack of trained staff due to curfews/closures as the primary reason for interruptions.

For more information refer to Health Inforum Web Portal http://hart.itcoop-jer.org

Urgent Request

A new request has been sent to the Health Inforum from the Health Work Committee, asking for help to provide them with the needed drugs in which 366 of chronic cases will be covered for one month in Bethlehem, Tobas, Hebron, Halhul, and Ramallah areas. For those who are interested to help please contact us for more details or refer to our web portal: Http://hart.itcoop-jer.org

WFP Facilitated the MOH Medical Supply and Insecticides Distribution

Health Inforum is increasing the efforts to facilitate the distribution of essential medicines, supplies and insecticides from the Ministry of Health Central Stores in Ramallah to the District hospitals and Primary Health Care Directorates.

The World Food Program (WFP) made a total of 23 deliveries in all districts of the West Bank.

The following table shows the distribution schedule by district
DestinationTrucks RequiredDeliveries
Undertaken
Delivery
Date
FacilitatorTrucks still required
Tulkarem
2
2
26/9/02
WFP
0
Nablus
5
3
2
24/9/02
03/10/02
WFP
0
Jenin
3
3
03/10/02
WFP
0
Jericho
2
2
28/9/02
WFP
0
Jerusalem
1
1
28/9/02
WFP
0
Bethlehem
3
3
25/9/02
WFP
0
Salfit
2
2
30/9/02
WFP
0
Hebron
4
4
02/10/02
WFP
0
Qalqilya
1
1
01/10/02
WFP
0
Total
23
23

Efforts have been severely hampered by fluctuations in the security situation. The World Food Program (WFP) has been making these deliveries however, given the urgency in some areas, Health Inforum is calling upon the wider international community for additional assistance with these efforts.


WHO Director-General announced deteriorating Health Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, WHO Director-General, announced on the 27th September 2002 that the health situation of people in the occupied Palestinian territory continues to deteriorate as a result of the escalation of the conflict compounded by border closures and curfews since March 2002.

For more information refer to Health Inforum Web Portal http://hart.itcoop-jer.org


USAID Ensures continued Immunization Coverage in West Bank and Gaza

The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded $3 million to UNICEF for the procurement and transport of essential vaccines and supplies for the West Bank and Gaza, covering a 12-month period. This procurement comes in response to an
emergency appeal by the Ministry of Health that alerted the international donor community to the risk of vaccine shortages anticipated beginning March 2003. Immunization against diseases such as measles, rubella, polio and hepatitis B is especially critical in the Palestinian Territories, given the prevalence of acute and chronic malnutrition rates amongst children under five. Malnourished children are more susceptible to infection, and the severity and frequency of complications are higher than in healthy people.
UNICEF will procure the vaccines, according to World Health Organization quality assurance standards. In addition, UNICEF will provide logistical support to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, to ensure timely vaccine delivery to the district level.

USAID is pleased to assist the Ministry of Health in alleviating any possibility for interruption in the Palestinian immunization schedule, minimizing the risk of preventable diseases amongst newborns and children.

Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Situation in the West Bank & Gaza by International Non-Governmental Organizations

In their joint statement (23 September 2002), several international non-governmental organizations implementing humanitarian and development programs across the West Bank and Gaza, expressed their deep concern by the high levels of malnutrition and anemia documented in the recent USAID-funded snapshot study conducted by CARE, Johns Hopkins University, Al-Quds University and ANERA, and in the survey carried out by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Both these assessments confirm “what we have been witnessing through our work with Palestinian communities - the steadily declining ability of ordinary Palestinians to afford goods and services in order to meet their most basic human needs.” http://hart.itcoop-jer.org



Convoy of relief supplies destined for Nablus

A group of seven faith-based organizations, operating under the banner of the Joint Humanitarian Relief of the Christian Organizations, are joining together in delivering food, medicine, blankets, health and school kits to the city of Nablus on Thursday, the 3rd of October. The coalition will purchase 2,700 food packages at a cost of US $140,000, which will be distributed to 300 families.

For more information refer to Health Inforum Web Portal http://hart.itcoop-jer.org

NGO PROFILE

Health Inforum will highlight Bi-weekly an organization of health stakeholders; this issue will highlight the activities of:

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP-UK)


Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP-UK), a British – registered charity was established in 1984 to meet the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian refugee community in Lebanon suffering from both the effects of the 1982 Israeli invasion and the ongoing Lebanese civil war. MAP-UK extended its activities to the Israeli Occupied Palestinian Territories in 1989 and has maintained a permanent presence in both locations ever since whilst periodically implementing projects in the camps in Syria.

MAP-UK's strategy has evolved over the years to take account of the political reality. Up until the mid-1990s, MAP's activities were primarily relief focused and involved the supply of medicines, consumables and laboratory equipment whilst also renovating and upgrading fixed site health facilities. These projects were overwhelmingly supported by expatriate personnel in conjunction with national counterparts. With the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, MAP's focus moved to capacity building within the nascent Ministry of Health whilst continuing to work with the vibrant Palestinian NGO sector.

MAP's development projects have traditionally been centered on primary health care with a specific focus on Mother and Child Health. MAP has drawn on the technical expertise of UK Chartered institutions including the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and more recently the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) to assist in the implementation of its projects.

Since September 2000, MAP-UK like many other NGOs working in Palestine has faced the dilemma of balancing existing developmental programs against emerging humanitarian needs. MAP-UK with the support of ECHO undertook a project between November 2001 and April this year which concentrated on women in Gaza who have suffered from domestic violence. In collaboration with the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, the project sought to build up the capacity of four centers while also involving a targeted distribution of blankets, mattresses and especially food parcels. A further ECHO assisted project took place with the Health Work Committees (HWC) in June and July and involved the supply of medicines and disposables to all HWC clinics in the West Bank. In addition, over 3000 food parcels were distributed to specifically targeted families.

MAP in conjunction with the British health NGO, Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin) has recently commenced a six month ECHO- supported project focusing on isolated villages around Nablus and Ramallah. In order to overcome the access problems faced by Palestinian health professionals this project will comprise a four person expatriate team with short consultancy visits by a surgeon, anesthetist
and gynecologist. The team will be working in partnership with the Union of Health Care Committees (UHCC) in Nablus and the HWC in Ramallah.

The objective of the project is to improve the emergency response capacity in these marginalized areas by working through existing fixed site health facilities where possible, while having a mobile clinic operating in each location. There will be a specific focus on upgrading the skills of Palestinian health service providers with particular regard to first aid, trauma management, and emergency and resuscitation while updating basic surgical skills. Additionally, training will be provided to ensure the identification and recognition of psychosocial related health issues among children. A second phase to this project is anticipated in Hebron district from November in partnership with Ard El Atfal.

WEBSITE:

Health Inforum posts daily news and announcements concerning health issues on our website: Http://hart.itcoop-jer.org. We welcome your inputs, comments and suggestions.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Please feel free to contact us for information at:
Health Inforum, c/o the Italian Cooperation
Sheik Jarrah, East Jerusalem
Tel: 02 532 7447 Fax: 02 532 2904
Email: hart@undp.org Http:// hart.itcoop-jer.org


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