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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
6 May 2007

Health action in crises
Highlights No 156 – 30 April to 6 May 2007

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:

• WHO conducted a workshop in Ramallah, Nablus and Jerusalem to train MoH and NGO staff on how to access medical articles using the web site of the Health Inter-Network Access to Research Initiative (HINARI).

• The monthly donor meeting that monitors health status and services discussed the surveillance system, health promotion and education, water quality, environmental health, immunization and psychosocial support put in place after the sewage flood in Gaza.

• The strike in the West Bank health sector is now in its eighth week. Most of the facilities surveyed have stopped immunization and provision of drugs to chronic patients, with the exception of insulin, kidney medications and psychotropic medications. Elective surgical and outpatient services remain closed and only critical emergencies and deliveries are admitted for treatment. Staff attendance is low in all the districts.


• WHO organized a meeting to follow up on the flood crisis in northern Gaza with UN agencies, local and international organizations and MoH representatives:

.. Since the flooding, the incubation period for any epidemic diseases is now over and no outbreak has been reported;
.. Scabies and other skin diseases remain a persistent problem;
.. Samples show that water quality is satisfactory;
.. The health clinic in Um Al Nasser has reverted back to normal operating hours.

• WHO has funded the production of 20 000 brochures and posters on water preservation and environmental health.

• WHO and the MoH nutrition department met with the Ministry of Education to discuss launching a nutritional surveillance system in schools. WHO will begin training teachers on the surveillance system.

• In 2006, WHO’s emergency activities were funded by the Organization’s Regular Budget and contributions from ECHO, Finland, Japan and Norway as well as the CERF. For 2007, support has been pledged from Norway and Italy.


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