UNOG NEWS Gaza health update WHO 09JUL2024
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Edited News | WHO

Gaza health update: WHO

Gazans reeling from intensified malnutrition, heat risks

In Gaza, soaring temperatures, hunger and unsanitary conditions present an ever more deadly threat to a population under constant attack, UN humanitarians warned on Tuesday.

Briefing journalists in Geneva, UN World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Tarik Jašarević said that according to the enclave’s health authorities, 34 people have died of malnutrition and dehydration, and “in [northern Gaza’s] Kamal Adwan hospital alone, 60 cases of severe acute malnutrition were detected last week”.

“Malnutrition is definitely one of the factors that reduces the immunity, especially of the vulnerable population, elderly and children, who then can’t really cope with any disease, any pathogen that they can get,” he warned, describing a “vicious circle of not having access to enough food, to clean water, to clean sanitation, not having access to basic health services”.

Beyond the direct consequences of the Israeli military’s relentless bombardment and shelling which continued overnight into Tuesday, “everyone in Gaza” is at risk of getting sick and dying for lack of care, Mr. Jašarević said. The situation is particularly dire for pregnant women, people living with chronic diseases such as cancer or diabetes, injured people who are not treated on time and children threatened by waterborne diseases.

The WHO spokesperson reiterated the agency’s appeal for the opening of all border crossings into the enclave, in order to enable desperately needed medical evacuations. “More than 10,000 people need to receive specialized medical care outside of Gaza. These people cannot wait,” he insisted.

The flow of medical relief is also at a standstill and the UN health agency said that none of its trucks passed last week into Gaza.

Asked about the current state of health facilities in the Strip, Mr. Jašarević said that hospitals were being either evacuated or destroyed by bombing, with no possibility of rebuilding as hostilities continue. According to an update from the UN’s humanitarian affairs coordination office OCHA on Monday, patients and medical staff evacuated three hospitals in southern Gaza in just one week, “in fear of intensified military activities that could render the health facilities non-functional or inaccessible”.

Mr. Jašarević paid tribute to the dedication of health workers who afterwards return to the facilities once they feel secure enough, to try and get vital services running again. Out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals, 13 are “partially functioning”, he said.

The UN health agency reported that the total capacity at the six partially functional hospitals in southern Gaza, including three in Deir al Balah and three in Khan Younis, now stands at only 1,334 beds. Out of 11 field hospitals in the Gaza Strip, three had to temporarily shut down and four are only partially functioning, “due to the hostilities in Rafah and reduced access”, WHO said.

Regarding the hospital infrastructure, “the level of destruction is such that it is difficult to even imagine how much time will it take [to rebuild] once the war is over,” Mr. Jašarević stressed.

-         - Ends -

STORY: Gaza health update - WHO

TRT: 2:03”

SOURCE: UNTV CH 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS 

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 

DATELINE: 09 JULY 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 

 

1. Exterior wide shot: Palais des Nations, Flag Alley.  

2. Wide shot: Speakers at the podium of the press conference; journalists in the Press room.

3. SOUNDBITE (English) – Tarik Jašarević, spokesperson, UN World Health Organization (WHO):According to the Ministry of Health, 34 people have died of malnutrition and dehydration so far. In Kamal Adwan hospital alone, 60 cases of severe acute malnutrition were detected last week.”

4. Wide lateral shot: Journalists and speaker on screens in the Press room.

5. SOUNDBITE (English) – Tarik Jašarević, spokesperson, UN World Health Organization (WHO):Malnutrition is definitely one of the factors that reduces the immunity, especially of the vulnerable population, elderly and children, who then can’t really cope with any disease, any pathogen that they can get. So it’s really, it’s a vicious circle of not having access to enough food, to clean water, to clean sanitation, not having access to basic health services.”

6. Wide lateral shot: Journalists in the Press room; speaker on screen.

7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Tarik Jašarević, spokesperson, UN World Health Organization (WHO):We keep appealing for opening of all crossings into Gaza. More than 10,000 people need to receive specialized medical care outside of Gaza. These people cannot wait.”

8. Medium shot: Wide lateral shot: speaker at podium from rear; speaker on screens; journalists in the Press room.

9. SOUNDBITE (French) – Tarik Jašarević, spokesperson, UN World Health Organization (WHO): “Ce qu’ils font, les travailleurs de santé, les médecins à Gaza, c’est de revenir quand ils se sentent en sécurité, ils reviennent sur les lieux et ils essaient de redémarrer certains services. Donc maintenant, de 36 hôpitaux à Gaza il n’y a que 13 qui fonctionnent de manière partielle.”

10. Wide shot: Journalists in the Press room; speaker on screens.

11. SOUNDBITE (French) – Tarik Jašarević, spokesperson, UN World Health Organization (WHO): “Pour ce qui est de l’infrastructure, ça c’est vraiment très difficile, parce que le niveau de destruction est tel qu’il est difficile même d’imaginer combien de temps cela va prendre une fois la guerre [est] finie.”

12. Close shots: Journalists in the Press room.

13. Wide shot: Cameraperson and technicians' booths in the Press room.


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