Funding urgently needed to prevent collapse of Gaza health system

WHO and health partners urgently require US$ 11.2 million to fill priority health needs for 1.27 million people in Gaza for three months. Of this amount, WHO requires US$2.4 million. If funding is not urgently secured, 1,715 patients will immediately face a life threatening situation, including: 113 newborns, 100 patients in intensive care units, 702 patients requiring hemodialysis 200 patients in need of surgery, 100 women in need of obstetric surgeries, 500 patients in need of emergency care.

The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is affected by a protracted crisis and chronic humanitarian needs. There has been a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza which impacts millions of people and is life-threatening for vulnerable patients. Limited electricity supplies and fuel for back-up generators is severely disrupting the delivery of basic services such as health, water, and waste management. The situation was further exacerbated in February 2018, when the health, water and sanitation services were on the brink of collapse from electricity shortages. Any disruption in the power supply will be immediately life-threatening for patients relying on electrical devices. In total, over 1.27 million people will be directly affected by the closure of health facilities. The Ministry of Health (MoH) has implemented strict contingency measures, including the temporary closure of three hospitals, Beit Hanoun Hospital, Durrah Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital, and partial closure of an additional 13 MoH primary healthcare clinics, immediately impacting over 300,000 people. Hospitals in Gaza are already over-stretched, with a bed occupancy rate of more than 90%. These temporary closures further impact key services in the remaining 11 hospitals – including surgery, general medical wards and diagnostic services. Supplies of drugs are severely diminishing. By the end of January, 40% of the essential drugs were depleted and 43% were at less than one month’s supply. The most critically affected patients are emergency patients, intensive care unit patients and those in need of lifesaving surgery.

Due to the electricity crisis in Gaza, water supply through the network reaches most homes for just 3-5 hours every day, and 96% of the water is not suitable for human consumption. As a result, there is an increased risk of waterborne diseases and outbreaks.

To fill priority health needs for the coming three months, health partners immediately require US$ 11.2 million, of which WHO requires US$ 2.4 million.

Link to donor alert: here