Health situation in Gaza - 10 January 2009
This is the 10 January update on the health sector situation since Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza on 27 December.
- UNRWA announces resumption of staff movements.
- Gaza European hospital and El Nasser Paediatrics hospital sustained damage due to nearby shelling.
- Dorah Paediatrics hospital closed for third day after sustaining damage, except for emergency services.
- All 19 patients scheduled for evacuation crossed through Rafah on 10 Jan.
- WHO concerned about public health situation: PHC services severely restricted and vaccinations interrupted since 27 Dec.
- 10 PHC centres functioning as emergency centres.
- All hospitals have 4-5 hours partial power supply.
International Humanitarian Law requires all medical personnel and facilities be protected at all times, even during armed conflict. Attacks on them are grave violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights laws.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) on 10 January, 854 people have been killed since 27 December, including at least 85 women and 275 children. At least 3681 Palestinians have been injured, including at least 1362 children and 528 women . WHO has not been able to independently verify these details.
(* The reason for the high increase in the death count is the identification of many bodies that were previously not identified or found under the rubble or in areas previously not accessible.)
Damage to hospitals and ambulances
No damage to ambulances reported 10 January.
Damage to hospitals:
On 10 January, artillery fire destroyed the northern wall of the European Gaza hospital, severed water mains pipes, damaged the main generator and cut electricity. One maintenance worker is suffering psychological trauma.
Shelling close to El Nasser Paediatrics hospital damaged some of its windows and forced staff to relocate two nursery rooms inside the hospital.
Dorah Paediatrics hospital remains closed for the third day, except for emergency services.
Damage to PHC centres:
Artillery fire during the night of 9 January caused some damage to the Sabha Al Harazin and Hala Al Shawa PHC centres. No details are currently available on the extent of damage.
Electricity failure and fuel supply
All hospitals have five days fuel capacity for back-up generators after receiving fuel for generators. Gaza Paediatric hospital still has two days of autonomy due to its low store capacity.
For the second consecutive day, power supply was available for 4–5 hours in all hospitals.
Bed capacity and occupancy rate
The Shifa hospital ICU remains overwhelmed with all 30 beds occupied mainly due to the low evacuation rate of patients through the Rafah crossing.
REFERRALS AND EVACUATIONS OUTSIDE GAZA
The 19 patients scheduled to be evacuated through Rafah crossing 10 January crossed at 5pm. None crossed 8-9 January. The number of patients evacuated through Rafah crossing since 27 December is 189, most for injuries and some for chronic conditions.
The Palestinian Liaison Officer continues to await answers on requests made for a further 12 patients seeking referral for cardiac and cancer care through the Erez Crossing. The Palestinian Referral Abroad Department remains closed.
UNRWA announced 10 January that it would lift restrictions on it staff movements (which had been announced 8 January due to lack of security) after receiving "credible assurances (from Israeli authorities) that the security of UN personnel, installations and humanitarian operations would be fully respected,” UN spokeswoman Michele Montas was quoted as saying.
No trucks carrying medical supplies crossed the border 10 January.
The Palestinian MoH in Ramallah with WHO collaboration continues its activities from the emergency operations room to respond to the health crisis.
PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTRES
PHC services did not function 10 January due to the weekend, but 1O PHC centres that have been converted into emergency evacuation centres functioned. Only 34 of the MoH's 58 PHC centres are functioning (with major interruptions).
PHCs working as emergency centres in the Gaza strip
- North Gaza:
- Shuhada’a Jabalia centre
- Zayton clinic
- Shiekh Radwan clinic
- Middle zone:
- Nusierat old clinic
- Shuhada’a Nusierat centre
- Old buriej clinic
- Dier El Balah clinic
- Bany Suhalia clinic
- Shuahada’a Rafah centre
- Tal Al Sultan centre
WHO West Bank and Gaza
Ms. Chiara Stefanini
Health and Human Rights Officer
Tel.: + (972) (0)2 540 0595 – Mobile: + (972) (0)2 542326532
WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
Mr Altaf Musani
Emergency Preparedness and Humanitarian Action
Tel.: + (202) 26 76 50 25 – Mobile: + (201) 02 58 58 22
WHO Headquarters, Geneva
Health Action in Crises
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Old Nablus Road – Sheikh Jarrah POBox 54812 – Jerusalem 91547 Tel: +972 2 540 0595 Fax: + 972 2 581 0193 Email: email@example.com
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