WHO delivers surgical supplies to meet the needs in the occupied Palestinian territory
16 December 2018 – The World Health Organization delivered ten trauma and five surgical kits to the Palestinian Ministry of Health sufficient to provide up to 2,000 surgical interventions. The donation was possible thanks to financial support from the Russian Federation.
The Ministry of Health dispatched the trauma kits to the Gaza Strip where the massive number of injured patients is overwhelming an already overburdened health system.
"The Russian Federation has been providing continuous humanitarian support to the occupied Palestinian territory. The donation of the trauma supplies to WHO is necessitated by the mass influx of casualties in the Gaza Strip", said Mr Aydar Aganin, Head of the Office of the Russian Federation Representation to the Palestinian National Authority.
Since 30th March, over 250 Palestinians were killed and over 25,000 injured during demonstrations along the fence with Israel. Around half of them received needed health care at the trauma stabilization points supported by WHO and discharged. Still, over 13,000 were transferred to MoH and nongovernmental organizations' hospitals for treatment. Often, treatment is postponed due to a lack of medicines and medical equipment. Many required interventions are not short-term. At least 700 patients with complex gunshot injuries will require long-term limb reconstruction with multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation for up to 2 years.
"Shortages of medicines and medical equipment are a daily reality in Gaza. WHO and humanitarian health partners are struggling to fill chronic gaps of essential medical supplies. We are grateful to the Russian Federation for their generous contribution that will help to address health needs of patients requiring surgery", said Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, Head of the WHO office for the West Bank and Gaza.
In October, the Central Drug Store of the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported 47% of essential medicines and 30% of essential medical disposables had less than a month's supply remaining, with 44% of essential medicines completely depleted.
In the occupied Palestinian territory, WHO and health partners support the provision of life-saving drugs and medical supplies to ensure sustainability of essential health services in the public hospitals' emergency departments with generous donations from the donors. From 30 March until 31 December 2018, USD 41.5 million is required by humanitarian health partners to respond to the acute health needs in Gaza. 70% was received, leaving a gap of USD 13 million.