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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
15 March 2004

Health Inforum News
Volume 3, No.47, 15 March 2004

Welcome to the forty-seventh issue of the Health Inforum Newsletter.
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Health News

Seven UN Institutions concerned with health and living conditions of Palestinian women

Rafah, March 8, 2004. On the occasion of the International Woman’s Day (IWD); seven UN agencies working in the oPt focused on the women situation in Rafah, according to the UN agencies; the living conditions of Palestinian women - including their access to health, education, food and employment – have been deeply affected by movement restrictions, military incursions and house demolitions, particularly in Rafah, where almost 10,000 Palestinians including many women, have been made homeless.

For more information, please visit

MoH sends health professional for training in Egypt

The Palestinian Minister of Health Dr. Jawad Tibi declared that Egypt will train a staff of 12 health professionals in the field of Oncology. The staff includes physicians, radiology technicians for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and laboratory technicians. The staff will work in the new oncology center, which is supposed to be opened in the near future.

The Minister of Health mentioned also that Egypt support training for Palestinian professionals in the field of kidney transplantation, Intensive Care, surgical theatre and open-heart surgery.

USAID responds to Ministry of Health's Contraceptive Appeal with $28,700 Worth of Product

In response to an appeal to the donor community from the Ministry of Health, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $28,700 worth of contraceptives in late February. This contribution will cover a one-year supply of four types of contraceptives that the Ministry of Health provides to Palestinian women living in Gaza.

For more information visit

PRCS re-opened its Health Center in Beit Fajar

On 9 March 2004, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) officially re-opened the Primary Health Care Health Center in Beit Fajjar (Bethlehem District) after the renovation of the facility was completed. The renovation of the health center is part of the PRCS Safe Motherhood project funded jointly by the French Red Cross and the French Ministry of External Affairs. The health center provides medical and health services for 10,300 residents of Beit Fajjar village in addition to residents from neighboring villages.

Reports/ Studies

Food Security Assessment, West Bank and Gaza Strip

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with World Food Programme (WFP) presented in Ramallah, 9 March 2004, their report on the Food Security Assessment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The assessment was done during the period of February 2003 to July 2003.

European Commission and USAID funded this assessment.

Main Findings of the Assessment:

§ Access to food is limited due to physical (curfews, closures) and economical (loss of jobs, depletion of resources; exhaustion of coping strategies and strained social support network) reasons.
§ Food security deteriorated due to low income.
§ 40% of the Palestinians are food insecure.
§ 30% of the Palestinians are under threat of food insecurity.
§ 60% of Palestinians income is around US$ 2.1/day.
§ Coping mechanisms that households rely upon for their survival to acquire food and to meet other essential needs have been exhausted, deteriorated or are no longer available.

Main Recommendations:

§ Expand job creation activities.
§ Improve the social access to food by funding UNRWA & WFP, so those agencies can ensure those who are eligible for assistance receive their full entitlement.
§ Free access of people and goods.
§ Formulate a National Food Security Strategy and establish a National Commission for Food Security.

For more information:

Causalities & Health Incidents in the oPt

44 Palestinians were killed since the beginning of March

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported on the 14th of April 2004 that 44 Palestinians were killed during the period of March 1st to March14th as a result of the Israeli army incursions and shootings. Among the 44 people killed, eight were children under 18 years of age, 30 were killed in Gaza Strip. The MoH also reported that 197 persons were injured in the same period, 123 of them in Gaza Strip.

Israeli army shot at PRCS Ambulances in Tulkarem & Rafah

Tulkarem, 3 March 2004 (06:23): During the Israeli Army incursion into Tulkarem City & Refugee Camp, a PRCS ambulance was subjected to Israeli Army gunfire while on route to rescue injuries in the Camp. An Israeli Army tank rammed a second ambulance while it was parked in front of Dr. Thabet Hospital, causing damage to its right side.

Gaza, 4 March 2004 (15:00): A PRCS ambulance (while parked in front of Rafah EMS station) was subjected to direct Israeli Army gunfire, during the incursion into Rafah area. The Israeli Army also surrounded the Rafah Emergency Medical Services (EMS) station and cut off the water and electricity lines to the station and prohibited the staff from leaving the area.

In addition to the above, the following table lists incidents of denial and delay of access during the period 28 February to 12 March 2004

PRCS Branch
Delayed/ Access denied
30 minutes
60 minutes
Al-Ram checkpoint
90 minutes
Shafi Shamroun
120 minutes
90 minutes
Tulkarem Refugee Camp
39 minutes
40 minutes , Denied access
120 minutes
Hejaze street
Denied access
Upcoming Events

Health Emergency Coordination Meetings

1. Gaza, Ministry of Health meeting hall, the administrative building.
Date & time: Tuesday 30 March 2004 at 11:00AM-12: 30 PM

2. Ramallah, Central Public Health Laboratory
Date & time: Wednesday 31 March 2004 at 10:00AM-12PM

For more information, visit


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Health Inforum, c/o WHO, Gaza office, Al-Bayed building, Al-Halabi Str. Tel: 08-2822033, Fax: 02-2845409

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