WHO spokespersons express concerns for Palestinian citizens, particularly women and children, facing heightened risks of infectious diseases due to contaminated water sources.
The ongoing conflict between the Palestinian people and the Israeli military is escalating, with an increasing death toll and the Zionist regime’s withholding of basic necessities, including clean water, impacting the health of local residents.
WHO Warns of Escalating Infectious Disease Outbreak
The World Health Organization (WHO) issues a warning that more Palestinians are at risk of succumbing to infectious diseases than from Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip.
This is contingent on the healthcare system remaining compromised, with insufficient access to necessary medications.
“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 (together) this health system,” states WHO spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris during a briefing at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva.
Dr. Harris repeated concerns about the spread of infectious diseases, particularly diarrhea, especially among women and young children, emphasizing the current lack of vaccinations, food, and access to safe drinking water in the country.
“Everybody everywhere has dire health needs now because they’re starving because they lack clean water and (they’re) crowded together,” she said.
Citing a U.N. report on the living conditions of displaced residents in northern Gaza, Harris said: “(There are) no medicines, no vaccination activities, no access to safe water and hygiene and no food,” she said.
Over 70,000 Cases of Acute Respiratory Infections Reported in Palestine
Last month, WHO reported over 70,000 cases of acute respiratory infections and over 44,000 cases of diarrhea recorded in the region. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) previously warned that those affected by the conflict are compelled to consume unsafe water, leading to disease outbreaks.
The UN also notes the inadequate sanitary facilities, with one bathroom for every 700 people and one toilet for every 150 individuals in its facilities in the area.
Dr. Harris underscores the tragedy of the collapsed healthcare system at al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, and reports of Israeli military detaining medical staff during patient transfer operations conducted by the WHO.
UNICEF spokesperson in Gaza, James Elder, reports that the hospital is inundated with injured children due to Israeli bombings, including cases of abdominal and intestinal inflammation from consuming contaminated 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.
“Everywhere doctors having to make horrendous decisions on, you know, who they prioritise,” he said.
Rising Death Toll in Palestine
On the 55th day since the upheaval began, over 15,000 Palestinian lives have been reported lost since 7 October.
According to Al Jazeera sources, Israel and Hamas fighters have agreed to extend the ceasefire for another 7 days. The extension was announced minutes before the agreement’s expiry today (30 November).
However, Israel states that the ceasefire battle will resume once the process of releasing ransoms is completed, adhering to the agreement’s conditions.
Qatar, mediating between both parties, states that the agreement will be extended under the same conditions as before, requiring Hamas to release 10 Israeli captives daily in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners.
Right now, nearly three quarters of hospitals, or 26 out of 36, have shut down entirely in Gaza due to bombings or lack of fuel.
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