Health situation in Gaza - 9 January 2009
This is the 9 January update on the health sector situation since Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza on 27 December.
- UNRWA suspended all movements of staff on 9 January due to the lack of security for humanitarian workers.
- The 8 Jan ICRC-MoH convoy carrying patients to Rafah was shot at. No patients evacuated through Rafah 8-9 Jan.
- Dorah Paediatrics hospital remains closed after sustaining damage, except for emergency services.
- WHO concerned about the public health situation: PHC services severely restricted and vaccinations interrupted since 27 Dec.
- 10 PHC centres functioning as emergency centres.
- 4-5 hours partial power supply for all hospitals.
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), 801 people have been killed since 27 December, including at least 85 women and 265 children. At least 3300 Palestinians have been injured, including at least 1156 children and 452 women*. WHO has not been able to independently verify these details. There have been complaints that Israeli military have been preventing medical teams from evacuating wounded people. Israel has said it is investigating the claims.
(* 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
The British NGO Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP-UK) and WHO have deployed information officers at hospitals across the Gaza Strip to provide information about their situation and needs. Further information on hospitals will be provided in the next reports.
Dorah Paediatrics hospital remains closed, except for emergency services.
No damage to hospitals or ambulances reported 9 January.
Electricity failure and fuel supply
All hospitals now have five days fuel capacity for the back-up generators, after having received industrial fuel. Gaza Paediatric hospital has two days of autonomy due to its low store capacity.
Power supply was again available for 4–5 hours in all hospitals.
Bed capacity and occupancy rate
The Shifa hospital ICU was overwhelmed with all 30 beds occupied mainly due to the lack of evacuation of patients through the Rafah crossing.
REFERRALS AND EVACUATIONS OUTSIDE GAZA
No patients were referred yesterday, 8 January, and today, 9 January. The ICRC/MoH convoy bringing patients to Rafah crossing was shot at yesterday and the convoy returned to Shifa hospital. The number of patients evacuated through Rafah crossing since 27 December remains 170, most for injuries and some for chronic conditions.
The Palestinian Liaison Officer is awaiting answers on requests made for 12 patients seeking referral for cardiac and cancer care. The Palestinian Referral Abroad Department remains closed.
One truck from Physicians for Human Rights entered today.
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 were not functioning 9 January for the weekend. The 1O PHC clinics converted to emergency evacuation centres continue to work. 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
Tel.: +41227913462 - Mobile: +41794755546
Old Nablus Road – Sheikh Jarrah POBox 54812 – Jerusalem 91547 Tel: +972 2 540 0595 Fax: + 972 2 581 0193 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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