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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
10 May 2009




Health Action in Crises
Highlights No 257 - 4 - 10 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
From 22 March till 27 April, the Referral Abroad Department approved and issued about 650 referrals. From that date till the end of the month, a further 262 referrals were approved.
In the Gaza Strip, about 32 000 people living in areas where water networks were severely or partially damaged during the recent crisis remain without access to water. An Oxfam assessment recommended, among other things, that the monitoring and surveillance system be strengthened and integrated with the water quality surveillance system across the Strip.

Actions
WHO helped facilitate an agreement between the MoH in Ramallah and de facto authorities on the resumption of referrals. WHO is monitoring the referral system and the health of patients being referred.
WHO, OCHA and the UN Special Coordinator in the occupied territories are discussing with Rafah border officials to explore the possibility of obtaining regular monthly statistics on patients leaving through the border.
WHO chaired the WASH Cluster monitoring and surveillance committee responsible for collecting and analysing data on water quality and waterborne diseases and for updating the health education and promotion, and advocacy committees on the results.
WHO has received support from OCHA, Italy, Norway and Australia. Spain, Switzerland and ECHO have contributed to the CAP.

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