Sat 02 Dec 2023 3:38 pm - Jerusalem Time

United Nations: Hepatitis C outbreak in shelters in the Gaza Strip

The United Nations said today (Saturday) that it had detected an outbreak of hepatitis among displaced Palestinians inside shelter centers in the Gaza Strip as Israel’s attacks continued since October 7.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in a statement that an outbreak of hepatitis C was detected in shelters affiliated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The statement stated that United Nations teams provided about 10,000 medical consultations daily in shelters hosting displaced persons, while 12,000 children received vaccinations in UNRWA shelters since the fourth of last month.

He pointed out that the access of residents in Gaza City and its north to water for drinking and household purposes has not improved, as most of the main water production facilities remained closed due to fuel shortages and some also due to damage.

Water is primarily available from small private wells and UNRWA wells, amid serious concerns about waterborne diseases due to water consumption from unsafe sources.

The World Health Organization stressed that civilians in Gaza need protection, food, clean water, shelter, sanitation, and medicine, warning that overcrowding resulting from the mass displacement of residents and unsafe living conditions increase the risk of disease.

This is being done while four hospitals in Gaza City and its north are operating partially and receiving patients, with only limited services. Two other hospitals provide dialysis services for kidney patients only.

According to the United Nations, none of the hospitals in Gaza City and its north have the capacity to perform surgical operations.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Munir Al-Bursh, stated that the health system in the Strip is witnessing a complete collapse in light of a severe shortage of medical capabilities and life-saving means.

Al-Barsh said that Israel's attacks after the end of the temporary humanitarian truce yesterday "are more brutal and severe in light of the indiscriminate bombing and destruction of homes over the heads of their residents for the purpose of premeditated killing."

He explained that the escalation of attacks comes as the health sector in Gaza is exposed to extremely dangerous and complex conditions due to it being directly targeted in Israeli attacks, which led to the closure of more than 26 hospitals and 55 health centers.


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United Nations: Hepatitis C outbreak in shelters in the Gaza Strip