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WHO Study Sought On Palestinian Children Affected By Conflict


Children are the worst affected by the Israeli attacks on Palestine, with 60 percent of them being anemic. These facts were revealed during the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the main decision-making body of the World Health Organizations. Arab health ministers have sent an urgent letter to the WHO requesting that a fact-finding team investigate the appalling health conditions in the occupied territories. The meeting, attended by 193 members, issued a statement that "More than 1,000 people died due to the Israeli aggression. They have no access to medical services and the Palestine health centers face shortage of medicine supply and equipments."...


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WHO Study Sought On Palestinian Children Affected By Conflict

Sandeep Singh Grewal - AHN Middle East Correspondent

palestinian_kids_are_seen.sized.jpg

May 23, 2008 6:19 p.m. EST

Geneva, Switzerland (AHN) - Children are the worst affected by the Israeli attacks on Palestine, with 60 percent of them being anemic.

These facts were revealed during the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the main decision-making body of the World Health Organizations. Arab health ministers have sent an urgent letter to the WHO requesting that a fact-finding team investigate the appalling health conditions in the occupied territories.

The meeting, attended by 193 members, issued a statement that "More than 1,000 people died due to the Israeli aggression. They have no access to medical services and the Palestine health centers face shortage of medicine supply and equipments."

High on the meeting's agenda were attacks against health staff and ambulances in Palestine. The statement said that 38 health workers had died in the line of duty in the occupied territory while 2,149 ambulances were blocked entry. Ambulances were the main target of the Israeli forces with 36 vehicles vandalized and 143 damaged.

The ongoing conflicts in West Bank and Gaza have affected the delivery of medical care in those areas. Gaza has 1 million refugees struggling for survival, as borders are closed and the flow of electricity and fuel are curtailed.

According to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the number of Palestinians killed and injured in violence in 2007 exceeded the number of those killed due to the conflict with Israel. A total of 444 Palestinians, including 30 children, were killed as a result of internal fighting between January and October 2007.

In its latest Emergency Appeal report, UNRWA is appealing for $238 million in emergency assistance this year for Palestine refugees, who account for more than 40 percent of the population of the Occupied Palestine Territory (OPT).

A 2003 survey conducted by the Gaza community mental health program found that 32.7 percent of all Palestinian children had developed acute symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, while a recent study found that 75 percent of children in Gaza and 79 percent of their parents had reported witnessing assassinations carried out by Israeli forces.

"The reduction of communicable diseases combined with longer life expectancy and modifications in lifestyle, have led to a change in the refugee morbidity profile with the emergence of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer now becoming a major burden," said Guido Sabatinelli, UNRWA Director of Health according to Agence France-Presse.

Health ministers of the six-country trade bloc Gulf Cooperation Council also met during the conference and decided to provide medicine to Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.

Other key recommendations discussed in the assembly regarded bird flu, climate change, counterfeit medical products and alcohol abuse.

Copyright © 2003 - 2008 AHN - All rights reserved.


:: Article nr. 44308 sent on 24-may-2008 07:47 ECT

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