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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
31 May 2009




Health Action in Crises
Highlights No 259 - 19-31 May 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.

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OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

Assessments and Events
Between 1 and 15 May, the department for referral abroad approved 461 requests for treatment. Cardiologic, ophthalmological and oncological interventions accounted for 40% of the referrals.
The Palestinian MoH raised concern on the fact that 22% of the recently donated drugs were either expired, close to expiry date or no longer appropriate for use due to inadequate storing. The MoH called for better coordination and assistance in building an incinerator to safely dispose of these drugs.
The specialized health mission to Gaza requested by the 124th Executive Board to identify humanitarian health needs, assess the destruction of medical facilities and report on the health effects of the Israeli military operations presented its findings at the Sixty-second World Health Assembly.

Actions
In Gaza, WHO conducted an in-depth assessment on the quality of care in the maternity and neonatal units of Shifa, Nasser and Aqsa paediatric hospitals.
WHO participated in a consultative meeting conducted by UNIFEM on the production of practical gender guidelines for the humanitarian sector in Gaza based on the IASC gender guidelines.
WHO coordinated the passage of 100 000 litres of fuel through Nahal Oz crossing for the MoH in Gaza.
WHO met with representatives from the United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP) on the environmental health situation and the potential hazards related to the recent conflict.
A joint assessment mission will be carried out from 1–5 June to study WHO’s emergency and humanitarian activities as well as the Health Cluster’s operations in the oPt, including WHO’s leadership role of the Cluster. The team will consist of representatives from ECHO, DFID, the Spanish Agency for Cooperation (AECI) and WHO.
WHO led the CAP Mid-Year Review for the Health Cluster: 74 projects, including 18 projects for mental health and psychosocial support, are included, for a total of US$ 70 million.
WHO has received support from OCHA, Italy, Norway and Australia. Spain, Switzerland and ECHO have contributed to the CAP.

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