20 Jan 2010
WHO Fact Sheet on the Impact of the Blockade on the Gaza Health System
The blockade and Israel’s major military offensive last year have led to on-going deterioration in the social, economic and environmental determinants of health. 27 patients have died this year while awaiting permits from the Israeli authorities to exit Gaza for medical treatment. The lack of building materials allowed to enter Gaza is affecting essential health facilities: the new surgical wing in Gaza’s main hospital, Shifa’, has remained unfinished since 2006 and hospitals and primary care facilities, damaged during the Israeli operation have not been rebuilt.
Highlighting the impact of the blockade on Gaza on the health of Gaza’s population and on health services, the UN HC and AIDA call for an immediate opening of the crossings. “The closure of the Gaza Strip puts at risk the health of people in Gaza and undermines the functioning of the health care system.”