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WHO: Catastrophic health situation in Gaza almost impossible to improve

2023-12-10 22:03:29, Kosova & Bota CNA

WHO: Catastrophic health situation in Gaza almost impossible to improve

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Sunday that it will be impossible to improve the "catastrophic" health situation in Gaza, even as the board unanimously approved an urgent WHO motion to make it possible access to medical assistance.

Palestinian officials have also described the health situation in Gaza as catastrophic. Israel's attacks have left most of the population homeless, with little electricity, food or clean water and a collapsing medical system.

The urgent motion, proposed by Afghanistan, Qatar, Yemen and Morocco, calls for sending medical personnel and supplies to Gaza, for the WHO to document violence against health care workers and patients, and for funding to rebuild hospitals.

"I have to be honest with you: these tasks are almost impossible under the current circumstances," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Mr Tedros told the 34-member board in Geneva that medical needs in Gaza have increased, the risk of disease has increased, while the health system has been reduced to a third of its pre-conflict capacity.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian politician who heads the Union of Palestinian Medical Aid Committees with 25 teams working in Gaza, said: "half of Gaza is now starving."

He said 350,000 people have infections, including 115,000 with severe respiratory infections.

According to him, many suffer from stomach problems because there is little clean water and there is little opportunity to boil it, risking the outbreak of dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

Gaza hospitals have been bombed, besieged or raided as part of Israel's offensive against Hamas' deadly attacks on October 7.

Hospitals that are still open are overwhelmed by the number of dead and wounded who come for treatment. Sometimes interventions are performed without anesthesia.

According to WHO data, since October 7, there have been 449 attacks on health care facilities in the Palestinian territories./ VOA

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