UNRWA: Health Care Crisis Looms in Palestine
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has launched an urgent appeal for $77 million in humanitarian aid for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, much of it for health-related projects, reported Disaster Relief on its website.
Since the beginning of the latest hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians the rate of stillbirths in the West Bank has risen by 47 percent, home births by 41 percent and low-birth-weight infants by 22 percent, according to the UN agency.
In the West Bank, the refugees under UNRWA's care constitute over a third of the population. In Gaza, it is some four-fifths. A report accompanying the appeal shows that immunization rates against measles, polio and hepatitis have dropped by 10 percent since the beginning of the crisis. Medicine for tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, plus antibiotics in general are now in such short supply in Gaza that the current stock is about to run out.
Added to this deterioration are some 1,500 to 2,000 Palestinians who have been temporarily or permanently disabled. It is estimated that in the coming months some 600 more refugees will require integrated rehabilitation services, according to the report – Albawaba.com
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