Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WHO Report Assesses Health Situation in Gaza after Israeli War

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 
JERUSALEM, December 19, 2012 (WAFA) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a new report on the health situation in Gaza following Israel’s last month onslaught on the Strip that the eight-day war placed additional strains on the public health system in Gaza which has been severely affected by the Israeli blockade in place since 2007 and by the political divide between West Bank and Gaza.
The WHO office of the occupied Palestinian territory said in the health assessment report published Tuesday that the war left severe shortages of essential drugs and medical supplies.
It said unstable power supply and lack of fuel for generators, and inadequate maintenance capacity and spare parts for medical equipment, have contributed to deterioration in the quality of health care.
The report said 182 people were killed during the war, including 158 males and 24 females. Of those, 47 (26%) were children, including 16 under 5 years of age, 12 women and 20 over 60 years. Most of the fatalities (87.9%) had multiple injuries.
There were also 1399 injuries - 28% female and 37% (516) children, one third of whom were under 5 years old.
It said 54% (758) were injured while they were at home, 16% while walking in the street, 1% while at work and 28% unspecified.
Most of the injuries (45%) happened in Gaza City, 29% in North Gaza, 9% in each of middle-zone and Khan Younis, and 7% in Rafah.
An estimated 28.3% of injuries were at the head and neck, 19% in more than one location of the body, 17% in the abdomen and pelvis, 13% in the upper limbs and 13% were superficial wounds.
Some of the more serious injuries were referred to neighboring countries including 42 referred to Egypt, four to Tunisia and three to Turkey for advance treatment.
The report said 13 primary health care centers were partially damaged due to indirect shelling, including nine for the ministry of health and four run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
The Jordanian Field Hospital sustained serious damage after being directly hit while two other hospitals, the Gaza European and Beit Hanoun hospitals, sustained minor damages.
The Emergency Medical Services reported that three ambulance drivers were injured during the war. In addition, six ambulances were damaged: four were damaged by shrapnel of which two were severely damaged and two had minor damage, and two ambulances were involved in accidents while transferring causalities.