Health Action in Crises
Highlights No 247 – 16 to 22 February 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.
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
Assessments and Events
• Incidents of violence continue to undermine the cease-fire.
• Distribution of medicine from the central drug store to primary health care centres continues; psychotropic medications have been allowed into Gaza.
• Some medical equipment and parts have been received, and the health equipment situation has improved.
• A UNFPA assessment of reproductive health services notes an increase in neonatal deaths and miscarriages during the 22 days of fighting. There is a concern about neonatal care, as many women who gave birth during the crisis were sent home from hospital early.
• NGOs continue to have difficulty in obtaining access to affected areas.
• WHO continues to support the drug supply management system in Gaza.
• The Health Cluster has completed an Initial Health Needs Assessment.
• WHO, UNICEF and UNWRA are coordinating the implementation of mental health activities in Gaza. There is a strong pre-existing mental health and psychosocial support but restricted humanitarian access hampers external assistance.
• WHO requires US$ 9.7 million through the Special Appeal for life-saving and recovery needs in Gaza. WHO has already received support from Italy, Norway and Australia.
• Furthermore Spain, Switzerland and ECHO have contributed to the CAP.