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WHO: More Palestinians Could Die from Diseases than Bombs in Besieged Gaza

29 Nov 2023 08:47

Islam Times - World Health Organization spokesperson Margaret Harris warned that “More Palestinians could die from disease than from ‘Israeli’ bombardment in the besieged Gaza Strip if the health system remains in its current state.”

More than 15,000 Palestinians, over half of whom are women and children, have been martyred by “Israeli” barbaric aggression on Gaza.

“Eventually we will see more people dying from disease than we are even seeing from the bombardment if we are not able to put back this health system” the WHO's spokesperson told a United Nations briefing in Geneva.

She further expressed concerns about an uptick in infectious disease outbreaks, including diarrheal diseases.

“[There are] no medicines, no vaccination activities, no access to safe water and hygiene and no food. We saw a very high number of cases of diarrhea among infants,” Harris said, citing a UN report on the living conditions of displaced Palestinians in northern Gaza. 

In parallel, she added: “I met a lot of parents... They know exactly what their children need. They don't have access to safe water and it's crippling them.”

Earlier this month, the WHO said that over 70,000 cases of acute respiratory infections and over 44,000 cases of diarrhea had been recorded in the besieged enclave.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has previously warned that the lack of drinking water in Gaza has forced people into drinking brackish water, raising concern about the spread of waterborne diseases.

Last week, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA] said there was one shower unit for every 700 people and a single toilet for every 150 people at UN facilities in the strip. 

Harris said on Tuesday that the collapse of Al-Shifa Hospital - the largest medical facility in Gaza - was a "tragedy", adding that some of its medical staff had been detained by 'Israeli' forces during a WHO evacuation operation.

James Elder, a spokesperson from the UN Children's Agency in Gaza, told reporters that hospitals in the enclave were full of children wounded by 'Israeli' bombings and suffering from gastroenteritis due to drinking dirty water.

“I met a lot of parents... They know exactly what their children need. They don't have access to safe water and it's crippling them,” he said.

Story Code: 1099008

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