WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES

02-Nov-2023 00:09:42
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the Organization has verified 237 attacks on health care, including 218 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and 19 in Israel. He reiterated, “attacks on health care are a violation of international humanitarian law.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES
TRT: 9:42
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 02 NOVEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“We are running out of words to describe the horror unfolding in Gaza. Since Hamas’s horrific attacks on Israel on the 7th of October, more than 10,000 people have been killed, including more than 8,500 in Gaza and 1,400 in Israel. In both Israel and Gaza, 70 percent of those killed are women and children. More than 21,000 are injured and more than 1.4 million people in Gaza have been displaced.”
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“The situation on the ground in Gaza is indescribable. Hospitals crammed with the injured, lying in corridors; morgues overflowing; doctors performing surgery without anesthesia; thousands of people seeking shelter from the bombardment; families crammed into overcrowded schools, desperate for food and water; toilets overflowing and the risk of disease outbreaks spreading; And everywhere, fear, death, destruction, loss.”
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“So far, WHO has verified 237 attacks on health care, including 218 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and 19 in Israel. Attacks on health care are a violation of international humanitarian law.”
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“I send my appreciation to health workers in both Gaza and Israel who are dealing with the consequences of this conflict. The best way to support those health workers and the people they serve is to strengthen the existing health system – by resupplying the hospitals, and ensuring their security.”
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“In the past two weeks, WHO has been able to deliver 54 metric tonnes of humanitarian supplies to Gaza. But this does not even begin to address the scale of need. Far more is needed than can be delivered with a drip-feed of aid. Before the 7th of October, an average of 500 trucks a day were crossing into Gaza with essential supplies. Since the 7th of October, only 217 trucks have entered in total. To sustain the humanitarian response on the scale needed, we need hundreds of trucks to enter Gaza every day.”
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“At the very least, we need a humanitarian pause in the fighting, and ideally an end to the conflict. We need unfettered access and safe passage agreed by both parties to ensure the security of access routes. Let me be clear: there can be no justification for Hamas’s horrific attacks on Israel.”
13. Wide shot, press briefing room
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“I understand the grief, the anger and the fear of the Israeli people. I also understand the grief, the anger, and the fear of the Palestinian people. WHO continues to call on Hamas to release the hostages it took, many of whom need urgent medical attention. We continue to call on Israel to restore supplies of electricity, water and fuel. We continue to call on both sides to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

15. Wide shot, press briefing room
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative, Occupied Palestinian Territory:
“I want to make a very important point and people maybe don't realise that. There are approximately 20,000 health workers in Gaza. 20,000 health workers operational in Gaza. There are 7,084 physicians of which 529 surgeons. There are more than 11,600 nurses, almost 4,000 pharmacists, and 607 midwives. There are lab technicians, et cetera, et cetera”

17. Wide shot, press briefing room
18.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative, Occupied Palestinian Territory:
“There was, before this war, a functioning health system. There's still, from the 36 hospitals, there's 22 hospitals operational, partly operational.”
19. Wide shot, press briefing room
20.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative, Occupied Palestinian Territory:

“And when you look at health and the health system, we have to focus in supporting and making sure that the existing health systems will be able to deliver.”
21. Wide shot, press briefing room
22. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme:
“The issue of EMTs coming in in field hospitals, the best and most effective way to is introduce an EMT or a field hospital is to bring it in in association with an existing facility where it adds to the number of beds, it adds specialist capability, it allows exhausted surgeons and others to rest while others take on the role. Putting field hospitals far from away from population centres unsupported by the local infrastructure is not the best way, it takes a long time.”
23. Wide shot, press briefing room
24. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme:
“Getting trucks over the border is one thing, getting them to the places in which they are needed is another. And that has not been facilitated, that has not been supported, in fact if anything, quite the opposite. So there is a huge gap between the rhetoric of some and the actual reality for our health workers on the ground and our staff on the ground. That needs to change, because quite frankly I'm sick of hearing all of these reassurances that don't actually exist on the ground for the people we work with. Our staff are operating under duress, at the risk of their lives, to help ordinary civilians working and bringing supplies to hospitals. How are we going to bring in field hospitals with further international workers when we can't guarantee the basic safety of the staff we have on the ground now?”
25. Wide shot, press briefing room

26. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer, World Health organization Representative in Egypt & Head of Mission:
“The movement of the patients has not been easy yesterday. We have the total number, 46 that arrived at hospitals, submitted between two main hospital hospitals in North Sinai and at the same time, we know that they have been accompanied by 36 family members, some of them have been only by one or a couple of them.”

27. Wide shot, press briefing room
28. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme:
“It is the responsibility of the occupying power to not only agree with the local Health Authorities on evacuation, but then if that does happen, that has to be fully facilitated and supported logistically and those patients, doctors need to have a place of safety to go where the patients can receive an adequate and similar amount of care. None of those, none of those criteria are met. Those patients cannot be moved, those doctors and nurses will not leave their patients. And all we know is, that that is the situation above the ground in those facilities and particularly in Al Shifa.”
29. Wide shot, press briefing room
30. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michel Thieren, WHO special representative, Israel:
“It's a whole shadow of trauma that is spreading across the countries, the survivors, the family of hostages, the witnesses of atrocity, the displaced population, the hosting communities of the displaced people and survivors, I would even say the decision makers, the whole country is plunged in trauma and the trauma spreads like a virus.”
31. Wide shot, press briefing room
32.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“While the world’s attention is focused on Gaza and Israel, we are continuing to remind the world that we cannot forget Sudan. Since the conflict erupted in April, almost 6 million people have been displaced, including 4.6 million within Sudan. Combined with the more than 3 million people who were already displaced before the war, Sudan now has one of the largest numbers of internally displaced persons in the world.”
33. Wide shot, press briefing room
34. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“The already-fragile health system is buckling under the load of injuries, outbreaks, malnutrition and untreated cases of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular, kidney and respiratory disease. In addition to measles, rubella, malaria and dengue, outbreaks of cholera have been declared in three states. WHO is preparing to support cholera vaccination campaigns.”
35. Wide shot, press briefing room
36. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“I thank all health workers in Sudan, most of whom have not been paid in six months, but continue to serve in the most difficult context. While talks between the parties to the conflict have resumed in Saudi Arabia, there is no sign of improvement on the ground. We call on the parties to implement the commitments they made in May this year.”
37. Wide shot, press briefing room
STORYLINE
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the Organization has verified 237 attacks on health care, including 218 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and 19 in Israel. He reiterated, “attacks on health care are a violation of international humanitarian law.”

Speaking to reporters today (01 Nov) in Geneva, Tedros said, “We are running out of words to describe the horror unfolding in Gaza.”

Since 7th of October, more than 10,000 people have been killed, including more than 8,500 in Gaza and 1,400 in Israel. In both Israel and Gaza, 70 percent of those killed are women and children. More than 21,000 are injured and more than 1.4 million people in Gaza have been displaced, the WHO chief said.


He continued, “The situation on the ground in Gaza is indescribable. Hospitals crammed with the injured, lying in corridors; morgues overflowing; doctors performing surgery without anesthesia; thousands of people seeking shelter from the bombardment; families crammed into overcrowded schools, desperate for food and water; toilets overflowing and the risk of disease outbreaks spreading; And everywhere, fear, death, destruction, loss.”

Tedros sent his appreciation to health workers in both Gaza and Israel who are dealing with the consequences of this conflict, adding that “the best way to support those health workers and the people they serve is to strengthen the existing health system – by resupplying the hospitals, and ensuring their security.”

“In the past two weeks, WHO has been able to deliver 54 metric tonnes of humanitarian supplies to Gaza. But this does not even begin to address the scale of need. Far more is needed than can be delivered with a drip-feed of aid,” the WHO chief said.

He explained, “Before the 7th of October, an average of 500 trucks a day were crossing into Gaza with essential supplies. Since the 7th of October, only 217 trucks have entered in total. To sustain the humanitarian response on the scale needed, we need hundreds of trucks to enter Gaza every day.”

Tedros also said, “At the very least, we need a humanitarian pause in the fighting, and ideally an end to the conflict. We need unfettered access and safe passage agreed by both parties to ensure the security of access routes. Let me be clear: there can be no justification for Hamas’s horrific attacks on Israel.”

Director-General added, “I understand the grief, the anger and the fear of the Israeli people. I also understand the grief, the anger, and the fear of the Palestinian people.”

“WHO continues to call on Hamas to release the hostages it took, many of whom need urgent medical attention. We continue to call on Israel to restore supplies of electricity, water and fuel. We continue to call on both sides to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law,” Tedros highlighted.

Dr Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory said, “I want to make a very important point and people maybe don't realise that. There are approximately 20,000 health workers in Gaza. 20,000 health workers operational in Gaza. There are 7,084 physicians of which 529 surgeons. There are more than 11,600 nurses, almost 4,000 pharmacists, and 607 midwives. There are lab technicians, et cetera, et cetera”
He continued, “There was, before this war, a functioning health system. There's still, from the 36 hospitals, there's 22 hospitals operational, partly operational.”

Peeperkorn also said, “when you look at health and the health system, we have to focus in supporting and making sure that the existing health systems will be able to deliver.”

WHO’s Dr Mike Ryan also spoke to reporters.

He said, “The issue of EMTs coming in in field hospitals, the best and most effective way to is introduce an EMT or a field hospital is to bring it in in association with an existing facility where it adds to the number of beds, it adds specialist capability, it allows exhausted surgeons and others to rest while others take on the role. Putting field hospitals far from away from population centres unsupported by the local infrastructure is not the best way, it takes a long time.”

Ryan reiterated, “Getting trucks over the border is one thing, getting them to the places in which they are needed is another. And that has not been facilitated, that has not been supported, in fact if anything, quite the opposite.”

He continued, “there is a huge gap between the rhetoric of some and the actual reality for our health workers on the ground and our staff on the ground. That needs to change, because quite frankly I'm sick of hearing all of these reassurances that don't actually exist on the ground for the people we work with”

Ryan emphasized, “Our staff are operating under duress, at the risk of their lives, to help ordinary civilians working and bringing supplies to hospitals. How are we going to bring in field hospitals with further international workers when we can't guarantee the basic safety of the staff we have on the ground now?”

Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer, World Health organization Representative in Egypt & Head of Mission spoke to reporters via video link.

She said, “The movement of the patients has not been easy yesterday. We have the total number, 46 that arrived at hospitals, submitted between two main hospital hospitals in North Sinai and at the same time, we know that they have been accompanied by 36 family members, some of them have been only by one or a couple of them.”

Mike Ryan said, “It is the responsibility of the occupying power to not only agree with the local Health Authorities on evacuation, but then if that does happen, that has to be fully facilitated and supported logistically and those patients, doctors need to have a place of safety to go where the patients can receive an adequate and similar amount of care.”

He continued, “None of those, none of those criteria are met. Those patients cannot be moved, those doctors and nurses will not leave their patients. And all we know is, that that is the situation above the ground in those facilities and particularly in Al Shifa.”

Dr Michel Thieren, WHO special representative in Israel spoke to reporters via video link.

He said, “It's a whole shadow of trauma that is spreading across the countries, the survivors, the family of hostages, the witnesses of atrocity, the displaced population, the hosting communities of the displaced people and survivors, I would even say the decision makers, the whole country is plunged in trauma and the trauma spreads like a virus.”

On Sudan, the Director-General said, “Since the conflict erupted in April, almost 6 million people have been displaced, including 4.6 million within Sudan. Combined with the more than 3 million people who were already displaced before the war, Sudan now has one of the largest numbers of internally displaced persons in the world.”

Tedros continued, “The already-fragile health system is buckling under the load of injuries, outbreaks, malnutrition and untreated cases of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular, kidney and respiratory disease. In addition to measles, rubella, malaria and dengue, outbreaks of cholera have been declared in three states. WHO is preparing to support cholera vaccination campaigns.”

He concluded, “I thank all health workers in Sudan, most of whom have not been paid in six months, but continue to serve in the most difficult context. While talks between the parties to the conflict have resumed in Saudi Arabia, there is no sign of improvement on the ground. We call on the parties to implement the commitments they made in May this year.”
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