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World Health Organization (WHO)
21 August 2007
Gaza Strip Situation Report
21 August 2007
Gaza Strip requires 220 MW in order to serve it population of 1.4 million. Most of the Gaza Strip's electricity comes via power lines from Israel, and a small percentage from Egypt. Gaza Strip suffered power cuts starting Sunday19th August after the European Union (EU) suspended the financing of fuel deliveries for the strip's only power plant. The power plant - which according to the EU produces between 25 and 30 percent of the electricity in Gaza - shut the last of its four generators on Sunday after it did not receive fuel from Israel.
According to the current arrangement, the European Union finances fuel deliveries, while the Palestinian electricity company collects payments from the population and deposits them into Finance Ministry accounts.
Primary Health Care facilities (PHC)
There are 56 PHC facilities in Gaza Strip that are managed by the Ministry of health (MoH). Out of which 32 PHC facilities (57%) lack generators.
The main services affected by the electricity outage are diagnostic services that include laboratory and x-ray and preventive service that includes immunization:
1. Laboratory services: currently provided in the all facilities that have laboratories depending on the availability of electricity and in the facilities that have generators during the electricity outages.
2. X-ray service: is currently provided in facilities that have x-ray machines during the availability of electricity only; since the available generators do not have the capacity to operate x-ray machines.
3. Immunization service: is currently provided in all the assigned facilities as scheduled. The numbers of facilities that provide this service will be decreased as some of them do not have generators for the cold chain.
Secondary Health care Facilities (Hospitals)
12 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are managed by the MoH. Each hospital has at least one generator that covers the whole hospital. Some hospitals have another one or two smaller generators as a backup for the operation rooms. The available fuel in hospitals with generators is for 7 days.
The main services affected by the electricity outage are diagnostic services that include Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment, laboratory and x-ray, operation rooms, oxygen extractors, laundry rooms, air conditioning system and water pumps.
The generators in some hospitals do not have the capacity to operate X-ray machines, oxygen extractors and laundry rooms. The air conditioning system is not covered by any of the available generators except for those available in the three main units: ICU, Neonatal ICU and the operation room.
All the available hospitals have water wells that are considered as the main source of water supply. The available generators have the capacity to pump the water.
Health Sector Strike
The medical syndicate in Gaza Strip announced that all personnel have to go on strike August 20-23 starting at 11: 00 am. The announcement includes all the health sector categories except nurses - for political reasons. Assessment done during the field visits showed that the majority of the health personnel are implementing the decision including some nurses. Services will be limited in the PHC facilities and hospitals during the period of the strike except for emergency services.
1. Fuel supply: The available fuel in the PHC facilities with generators is enough for 5 days and for 7 days in the hospitals. No information is currently available on whether fuel will be supplied to the facilities as a part of the TIM- hospitals’ directors and PHC district officers reported.
2. Generators’ functionality: the available generators might break down as a result of the continuous operation; accordingly neither spare parts nor money are available to fix them.
3. Water supply: the dysfunctional generators would affect the availability of water in the hospitals as generators are needed to operate water pumps.
4. The provision of the immunization service will be restricted on some facilities that have generators for the time being and will be provided during the availability of electricity in case of fuel shortage of generators’ broken down.
5. The provision of the other services in the PHC facilities and hospitals will be affected, as well.