WHO Director-General: WHO’s greatest concern remains supporting Gaza’s health system and health workers to function

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Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said during his opening remarks at a media briefing in Geneva, that WHO's greatest concern remains supporting Gaza's health system and health workers to function. He said that only 15 of Gaza's 36 hospitals are still functioning at all in the Strip, but are completely overwhelmed. For example, European Gaza Hospital is currently operating at triple its capacity, he said. Of the 24 hospitals north of Gaza, only three are functioning at the most basic level, but they lack fuel, water and food, he said. WHO Director-General said the pause has enabled WHO to increase deliveries of medical supplies in Gaza and to transfer patients from Al-Shifa Hospital to other hospitals south of Gaza. During the first three days of the pause, WHO received 121 pallets of supplies into its warehouse in Gaza, including IV fluids, medicines, lab supplies, medical disposables, and trauma and surgical supplies, he noted. 'This is enough to suppo rt about 90 000 people.' However, much more is needed, he stressed. WHO's greatest concern remains supporting Gaza's health system and health workers to function, he stated. The health needs of the population of Gaza have increased dramatically, but they are now being serviced by one third of the hospitals and primary care clinics, he said. And with severe overcrowding, the risks are increasing for epidemics of respiratory tract infections, acute watery diarrhea, hepatitis, scabies, lice and other diseases, he added. 'But we repeat that emergency medical teams and field hospitals can only complement Gaza's health system, not replace it.' The priority must be to support Gaza's health workers, hospitals and clinics to do their jobs, he said. Source: Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA