Gaza: Survey regarding the consequences of the Israeli incursion

Palestinians get treatment at Al-Naggar Hospital in Rafah in Gaza Strip after Israeli air strike at a car, July 9, 2006. (MaanImages/Hatem Omar)

A survey conducted by Medecins du Monde in the health facilities of Gaza following the beginning of the Israeli incursion has revealed pre-occupying results regarding access to drinkable water, food and health care. Represented by Pierre Micheletti, the President of MdM France, who has recently returned from the field, MdM is alarmed by the deterioration of the health of Gaza inhabitants. MdM asks for the ending of retaliations against the civilian population.

The MdM teams conducted this survey before and during the incursion, with two samples of approx. 500 patients in 15 health facilities (10 primary health centres and 5 hospitals), which are representative and cover the whole of the Gaza Strip.

The survey shows that: Access to water and food has deteriorated significantly since the Israeli incursion: 70 percent had access to running water before the incursion, in comparison to 43 percent now. The number of meals by day has also been reduced (13 percent of respondents stated having one meal a day, which concerns 10 times more people than before the incursion).

  • The average time required to reach health structures has multiplied by four: two hours on average, in comparison with half an hour before the incursions and up to 36 hours in some cases.
  • The reasons for consultation linked to traumatology are increasing, in addition to those related to pregnancies involving a higher risk of premature or complicated births.
  • Regarding the interruption of treatment: there has been a substantial reduction in the number of patients who declared having a chronic pathology which, in the case of interruption of their treatment, may lead to serious consequences (i.e. diabetes, hypertension, asthma)
  • Regarding mental health: 91 percent of people interviewed had faced a violent event during the previous few days (“sonic booms”, bombings etc), and the majority of them (70 - 80 percent) presented signs of psychological trauma.

    Based on these figures, MdM asks the Israeli government to put an end to attacks on the Palestinian civilians and, in particular, to endorse their responsibilities regarding the treatment of the injured. MdM requests that for humanitarian corridors be put in place in order to allow the sick and the injured to be treated.

    Palestinian civilians are paying with their health for the price of the embargo imposed by the international community after the election of Hamas.

    In the light of the G8 summit, which opens in St Petersburg on 15 July, MdM - along with many other organisations, asks for a re-mobilisation of the international community to support Palestinian institutions, and allow them to respond to the needs of the population.

    Related Links

  • Medicins du Monde
  • BY TOPIC: Israel invades Gaza (27 June 2006)