April 27, 2015 ̶ Jerusalem: Today Mr. Lapo Pistelli, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from Italy, and the Italian Consul General Mr. Davide La Cecilia, visited the WHO Office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip and met with WHO Head of Office, Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub, concerning Italy’s interest in the health sector.
The Italian Cooperation is supporting a WHO quality of care program with the Palestinian Ministry of Health to systematically produce key health data on hospital performance to allow evidence-based analysis of appropriate care, service quality and efficiency in the ministry’s hospital system. The one-year Euro 280,000 initiative will also assist in improving decision-making about needed procurement of referral services from private Palestinian health providers and outside of the country.
WHO also facilitated a transfer from Italy of a humanitarian donation of three tons of pharmaceuticals for treatment of patients with chronic diseases in the Gaza Strip. The donation of 18 pallets containing 50,000 vials of concentrated insulin for diabetic patients, injection pens and medications for surgical patients (antivirals, anti-inflammatories, and anti-coagulants) entered Gaza on April 26 for distribution to Ministry of Health and non-government health facilities.
Gaza’s health system experiences chronic shortages of essential medications exceeding 25% to 30% and of half of all basic medical supplies that seriously affect patient care. The shortages are causing delays of elective surgeries by more than one year and greater out-of-pocket expenditures for patients who can afford to purchase medications from the private sector. Poorer patients are left without the medications that control their diseases and improve quality of life.
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