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Gaza Children are at Risk .. The Anemia Disease Spreads as a Result of the Siege

Popular Committee Against Siege

November 27, 2007

In light of the siege imposed on more than a million and a half million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, suffering is spread amongst the people, but children are the most affected category by the siege. This led an international commissioner in Gaza to warn of the serious repercussions on the children of Gaza and their future health and education, as a result of the poor health conditions and malnutrition that the siege creates.

In this regard, Dr. Ra'aft Hassouna, from the UNICEF, said that the symptom of malnutrition appeared on schoolchildren in several forms, including anemia, which has spread among school children by 22%, particularly from the age of 5 to 12 years. Also, the lack of iron and vitamin "A", which leads to anemia, and the lack of vitamin D appear with 4.1%, and the lack of iodine appears by 10% among schoolchildren.

These warnings and fears were expressed by the representative of the international organization "UNICEF during his participation in a symposium held by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen's Rights in Gaza on the effects of the embargo on children's rights in the Gaza Strip. The symposium was particularly held to discuss the malnutrition and its impact on the educational process in the Gaza Strip.

Dr. Hassouna asserted that the complications of malnutrition that seemed clear on the performance of children may expose them to diseases and the inability to participate or concentrate on class, besides the absence from school. Also, he mentioned the repetition of failure and a general lack of the educational development process as repercussions of the malnutrition. Hassouna was based on a study prepared by UNICEF showed important indicators on the impact of malnutrition on children in Gaza, including that 14% of children suffer from height limit for those under five years, and 4.2% are suffering from low weight, to those who are at the same age. Also, 9.8 % suffering from emaciation, pointing out that it will provide the Palestinian Ministry of Health with vitamin "A" "D" as well ;as well as, milk for cases of sick children.

From her part, Mrs. Mahasen Muhesin, the Program Director of Education in the UNRWA, mentioned that 32.4% of schoolchildren at the primary and preparatory grades suffer from nutritional anemia problem. And she pointed out that the implications of the siege on the Strip produced health problems among the UNRWA schoolchildren.

Also, Mrs. Muhesin pointed that among the health problems that schoolchildren suffer from are: Idiocy, underweight, as well as the inertia and Pallor, Yellowing face and the low achievement and school dropouts.

:: Article nr. 38659 sent on 28-nov-2007 02:36 ECT


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