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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
8 April 2007




Health action in crises
Highlights No 152 – 2 to 8 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:

• On 28 March, WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA issued a press release to express their concern about the deterioration in access to medical services in the oPt as a result of the strike. The withdrawal of vital medical services may further exacerbate the already difficult humanitarian situation in the region.

• The agencies called on all parties concerned to reach an agreement guaranteeing essential medical care in keeping with international standards.

• On 27 March, six were killed and 18 injured in Um Al Nasser, northern Gaza, when a basin of sewage burst its banks and flooded a neighbouring village; 2168 people were evacuated in tents provided by UNRWA.

Actions:

• WHO finalized the implementation of a US$ 1.5 million CERF-funded project to replenish the emergency drug stores in North Gaza district.

• A MoH/WHO field visit was conducted to Um Al Nasser to supervise the emergency surveillance system – surveillance forms and case definitions had been distributed earlier. The team visited all health facilities in the area, including the medical points and referral hospitals in Beit Lahia.

• The MoH is collecting water samples in the affected area and conducting health education sessions, providing psychosocial support to affected people.

• WHO continues organizing health coordination meetings, as in Qalqilya, to share information and strengthen coordination among the health stakeholders.

• 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.

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