Gaza genocide: 5.53 lakh infectious, epidemic diseases reported since Oct in Palestine

Wounded Palestinians wait for treatment at the overcrowded emergency ward of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City following an Israeli airstrike on October 11, 2023.

In the midst of the ongoing Israeli war of genocide and the ensuing challenges of displacement, Gaza faces an alarming health crisis as more than 5,53,000 cases of infectious and epidemic diseases have been reported since last October.

So far, more than 26,000 Palestinians have lost lives in Israeli bombardment.

Dr Rami Haidar Al-Abadleh, Deputy Director-General of Primary Care for Public Health in Gaza, highlighted the severe threat posed by the outbreak of infectious diseases amid a critical deterioration of health services as a result of the Israeli war, Quds News Network reported.

The densely populated and war-ridden Gaza Strip has witnessed a surge in infectious diseases, with over 8,000 cases of Hepatitis A alone.

Dr Al-Abadleh attributed the rapid spread of these diseases to overcrowded living conditions among the displaced, compromised hygiene levels, and the scarcity of potable water.

The crisis is further exacerbated by shortages of medication and food, creating a dire situation for the population.

Since the outbreak of the war in October, the healthcare infrastructure has suffered extensive damage. Multiple primary care centers have been destroyed, hindering the monitoring and treatment of infectious diseases.

Current efforts involve consolidating services from government clinics in Rafah and the shelters operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The data collection process faces immense challenges due to the destruction of computing programs, communication breakdowns, and severe congestion in the remaining healthcare facilities. Dr. Al-Abadleh emphasized the urgent need for international attention and assistance to address the escalating health crisis in Gaza.

Among the reported cases are 2,34,364 instances of pulmonary inflammation, 1,70,794 cases of diarrhea, and 1,40,000 cases of skin diseases. The most alarming revelation is the prevalence of over 8,000 cases of Hepatitis A, with 6,723 children among the infected. Additionally, cases of measles and other infectious diseases continue to add to the burden faced by Gaza’s already distressed population.

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