GENEVA / GAZA HEALTH ISSUES

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17-Nov-2023 00:02:28
The UN health agency warned that Gaza’s health system is “on its knees.” UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / GAZA HEALTH ISSUES
TRT: 02:28
SOURCE: UNTV CH
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 NOVEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Exterior shot, exterior, UN building with UN flag

17 NOVEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, journalists, screens, briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, Representative in the occupied Palestinian territory, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We know that the health system is on its knees and that currently 65 percent - that is 47 out of 72 primary care facilities - are not functioning and the ones which are functioning are partly functioning, so to say more than 70 percent, almost 70 percent of the hospitals are currently nonfunctioning - 25 out of the 36.”
4. Med shot, spokespersons, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, Representative in the occupied Palestinian territory, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We've recorded already more than 70,000, 72,000 cases of acute respiratory infections, 44,000 cases of diarrhea, 808 cases of chickenpox, 15,000 skin rashes, the scabies, lice, and we also got patients now of hepatitis A.”
6. Med shot, technician, journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, Representative in the occupied Palestinian territory, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Before the conflict we talked about 3,500 hospital beds operational in Gaza. And today we talked about an estimated 1,400. The minimum occupancy raised over 150 (per cent). Based on our plans, the needs at the moment will be 5,000 beds.”
8. Med shot, spokespersons, journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, Representative in the occupied Palestinian territory, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We need a mechanism for medical evacuation. Over the coming months, we will work out that the patients in needs, and that it's not just multiple traumas, it's all kinds of patients which are critical need for evacuation, also think cancer patients which cannot get their treatments. So there's many other patients which should be prioritized for every medical evacuation into Egypt.”
10. Wide shot, spokesperson, journalists, screens
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, Representative in the occupied Palestinian territory, World Health Organization (WHO):
“There is a mechanism for the entry of fuel, which would be, I think, the best news of today. And of course, we really hope and plea that this mechanism is being going to be sustained and that it's going to be sustained to make sure that humanitarian operation can function that UNWRA can do its job keeping the operation going.”
12. Wide shot, journalists, screens,
13. Various shots, journalists

STORYLINE:
The UN health agency (WHO) warned today (17 Nov) that Gaza’s health system is “on its knees”.

Due to intense hostilities and limited connectivity, WHO has not received updated data for the past four days on injuries and deaths from the enclave’s Ministry of health.

“We know that the health system is on its knees and that currently 65 percent - that is 47 out of 72 primary care facilities - are not functioning, and the ones which are functioning are partly functioning,” reported Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory from Jerusalem, briefing journalists at the United Nations in Geneva.

“More than 70 percent of the hospitals are currently nonfunctioning - 25 out of the 36.”

This situation is clearly insufficient to meet the “endless” needs arising from more than five weeks of Israeli bombardment in response to the 7 October Hamas terror attacks.

Active ground operations in Gaza city and near the hospitals, along with the lack of fuel, have halted the movement of rescue teams and ambulances in many areas, the UN Aid Coordination Office (OCHA) reported.

“Before the conflict, we talked about 3,500 hospital beds operational in Gaza. And today, we talked about an estimated 1,400. The minimum occupancy raised over 150 (percent). Based on our plans, the needs at the moment will be 5,000 beds,” stressed Dr. Peeperkorn.

The WHO is extremely concerned about the spread of diseases as the rainy season and winter arrive.
Overcrowded shelters and the overall lack of water and sanitation across Gaza could increase the risk of transmission.

Since mid-October, the Ministry of Health, UNRWA and WHO have recorded “more than 70,000, 72,000 cases of acute respiratory infections, 44,000 cases of diarrhea, 808 cases of chickenpox, 15,000 skin rashes, the scabies, lice, and we also got patients now of hepatitis A,” according to Dr. Peeperkorn.

The WHO reiterated its call for daily sustained, orderly, unimpeded, and safe medical evacuations of critically injured and sick patients into Egypt.

“We need a mechanism for medical evacuation. Over the coming months, we will work out that the patients in needs, and that it's not just multiple traumas, it's all kinds of patients which are critical need for evacuation, also think cancer patients which cannot get their treatments,” said Dr. Peeperkorn.

“So, there's many other patients which should be prioritized for every medical evacuation into Egypt.”

The WHO also reported on Friday that a mechanism for the entry of fuel into the war-torn Palestinian enclave has reportedly been agreed upon so that urgently needed humanitarian operations can be restored.

“There is a mechanism for the entry of fuel, which would be, I think, the best news of today. And of course, we really hope and plea that this mechanism is being going to be sustained to make sure that humanitarian operation can function, that UNWRA can do its job keeping the operation going.”

WHO remains extremely worried for the safety of patients, health workers, and IDPs sheltering not only at Al-Shifa but all other hospitals that are besieged and facing intense hostilities.

The UN health agency reminded again that under international humanitarian law, health facilities, health workers, ambulances, patients must be safeguarded and protected against all acts of war.

International humanitarian law must be respected.
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