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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
15 April 2007




Health action in crises
Highlights No 153 – 9 to 15 April 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.


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OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

Assessments and events:

• Work continues to address the effects of the collapse of the Beit Lahia sewage treatment plant. A coordination meeting was organized with the MoH and UN agencies on 1 April to discuss immunization, laboratory screening, surveillance, psychosocial intervention, water quality, health promotion and education, medical specialties, etc.

• WHO continues to monitor primary health care facilities and hospitals in the strike-affected West Bank. Immunizations stopped completely in Hebron, Jenin, Nablus in both the Central Clinic and the clinics in the surrounding villages. Most of the facilities surveyed have also stopped dispensing drugs to chronic patients, with the exception of insulin, kidney medications and psychotropic medications, that continue. Elective surgical and outpatient services remain closed. Staff attendance is low in all the districts.

Actions:

• WHO continues supporting the MoH in strengthening epidemiological surveillance in the community affected by the Beit Lahia incident.

• WHO assists the MoH in producing health education brochures and distributing them among the residents of the northern area. WHO and UNICEF are also funding the production of brochures and posters on water preservation and environmental health.

• 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.

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