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Humanitarian Crisis Unfolds in Gaza as WHO Warns of Looming Disease Threat Amidst Ongoing Conflict

World Health Organization Expresses Alarming Concerns Over Health Infrastructure Breakdown in Gaza

As the Israel-Hamas conflict persists, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a stark warning, asserting that disease and a crumbling health infrastructure pose a more significant threat to lives in Gaza than airstrikes and missiles.

Key Points:

  1. Lethal Impact of Disease: WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris emphasized the potential for more casualties from diseases if urgent measures are not taken to restore the beleaguered health system in Gaza. The breakdown of essential services, including access to food, water, medicines, and fuel for hospitals, is exacerbating the risk of a health crisis.
  2. Indirect Health Impacts of Conflict: Dr. Barry Levy, an adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, highlighted the historical trend in wars, where the indirect health consequences often surpass the direct effects of armed conflict. Destruction of civilian infrastructure, which provides crucial resources like food, water, shelter, and healthcare, along with forced displacement, contributes significantly to the humanitarian crisis.
  3. Diseases on the Rise: Indirect health impacts include the surge of infectious diseases such as cholera due to reduced access to safe water. Contagious respiratory disorders like measles, tuberculosis, and Covid-19 are also on the rise, partly attributed to crowded living conditions. The reduction in public health services, including immunizations and disease outbreak control, coupled with increased malnutrition, further compounds the risk of infectious diseases.

International Call for Action:

The dire situation in Gaza has prompted calls from the international community for urgent humanitarian intervention. Addressing the immediate health needs of the population and rebuilding the shattered health infrastructure are seen as crucial steps to mitigate the looming crisis. As the conflict continues, the focus on safeguarding the well-being of civilians becomes increasingly imperative.