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WHO worried over Gaza health situation

Geneva , January 23, 2008

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern over the health situation in and around Gaza sparked by a Israel fuel blockade.

WHO said the blockade has caused huge suffering for the civilian populations in the area.

'In Gaza, the lack of electrical power, arising from a fuel shortage, and restrictions on the movement of people and goods, including medicines, jeopardise the continuity of basic health care and curtail access to specialist care outside Gaza,' a WHO official said.

Frequent electricity cuts and the limited power available to run hospital generators are of particular concern, as they disrupt the functioning of intensive care units, operating theatres, and emergency rooms, he added.

In the central pharmacy, power shortages have interrupted refrigeration of perishable medical supplies, including vaccines.

WHO consignments of essential medicines and consumables have recently been delayed at the border.

The organisation has meanwhile welcomed the easing of movement of some fuel and supplies by Israel today (Wednesday).

However, it has called for additional measures to ensure no further disruptions occur.

The organization also urged early restoration of electricity to health facilities besides the lifting of restrictions on the movement of medicines and essential commodities to Gaza and letting patients have easy access to health care outside Gaza.




Tags: WHO | gaza | Health | fuel | blockade | concern |

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