NewsHealth emergency escalates, Gaza begins vaccination drive

Health emergency escalates, Gaza begins vaccination drive

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The Palestinian health ministry has announced the initiation of a vaccination campaign in the Gaza Strip to address the escalating health emergency caused by Israel’s ground offensive. Thousands of doses of vaccines targeting childhood diseases, including polio and measles, have entered Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. The supplies, estimated to cover vaccinations for 8 to 14 months, were facilitated with the aid of Egyptian government cold storage facilities.

The ongoing conflict has disrupted normal health services in Gaza, leading to a halt in vaccinations against highly contagious childhood diseases. Mass immunization programs had previously brought these diseases under control.

Israel pledged to facilitate the entry of vaccines on Friday, recognizing the urgent need to prevent the spread of disease. The Palestinian health ministry, in coordination with UNICEF, procured the vaccines, aiming to cover a population facing severe health challenges due to the conflict.

Yasser Bouzia, head of international relations in the health ministry, highlighted the difficulties in administering vaccines as a significant portion of Gaza’s population has been displaced, with many residing in temporary accommodations such as tents. The campaign aims to address the immediate needs of an estimated 60,000 newborns in Gaza who would typically receive vaccinations but have been largely cut off from medical services.

The vaccines provided cover a range of diseases, including rubella, polio, measles, and mumps. The joint effort by the Palestinian health ministry and UNICEF seeks to mitigate the health impact of the ongoing crisis in Gaza and ensure that vulnerable populations, particularly children, are protected against preventable diseases.

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