UNRWA releases its annual report on health care

New York, May 28 (Petra) — The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) released on Tuesday its report on the health care it provided in its areas of operations in 2023.

According to the report, UNRWA focused on treating its 300,000 patients suffering from non-communicable diseases, providing developmental care to 350,000 children under the age of five, and providing safe delivery to 70,000 pregnant mothers.

Among the 5.97 million Palestinian refugees registered in all fields of operation, more than half still rely heavily on the agency’s health services, the report said.

Prior to October, Palestine refugees in Gaza constituted the largest beneficiary population, benefiting from non-communicable disease care, child health care, pre-pregnancy care, antenatal care, mental health care, and many other services provided by UNRWA.

However, the report noted that in the last three months of 2023, Gaza’s share of medical consultations declined rapidly, as UNRWA was forced to close 14 of its 22 health centers and power outages prevented access to telehealth systems.

Not only has access to basic health care become nearly impossible, but the hostilities have also created dozens of new health disasters, with increased war injuries, internal displacement, mental health crises, destruction of sanitation infrastructure, and potential conditions for pandemics and famine.

UNRWA opened 155 emergency shelters and 108 mobile medical units, carried out observation for potential disease outbreaks, and coordinated the shipment of medicines and medical equipment through the Rafah crossing, while agency offices in the West Bank had to adapt to increasing restrictions on movement, finding temporary solutions to bring patients and healthcare workers together and ensure uninterrupted delivery of medical supplies.

The Israeli occupation forces have killed more than 188 UNRWA employees, including 11 healthcare professionals, since October 7 in the Gaza Strip.

//Petra// AF
28/05/2024 22:01:45