News / Middle East

British Journal Warns of 'Urgent' Palestinian Health Crisis

Scene in Ramallah Hospital  pharmacy in West BankScene in Ramallah Hospital pharmacy in West Bank
x
Scene in Ramallah Hospital  pharmacy in West Bank
Scene in Ramallah Hospital pharmacy in West Bank
Selah Hennessy
Palestinian refugees and those living in the West Bank and Gaza are a facing an urgent health emergency, according to to the British public health journal, the Lancet.

The Lancet has published 32 reports highlighting a range of health concerns for Palestinian refugees living across the Middle East and Palestinian territories.

The journal says Palestinian refugees are dealing with a “hidden crisis” of high levels of chronic and acute illnesses.

Researchers from the American University of Beirut surveyed Palestinians living in refugee camps and other parts of Lebanon.  They found that 31 percent of the more than 300 people interviewed had chronic illnesses.  Just under half of those surveyed had water leaking from their walls or roofs, conditions that can be health threatening.

Another study from the same university found displaced Palestinians living in Lebanon are struggling with a low availability of adequate food.  A survey of around 2,500 households showed 63 percent were experiencing some food insecurity and 13 percent reported being severely in need of proper food.  

The World Health Organization Representative for the West Bank and Gaza Strip Tony Laurance, whose research was published in the Lancet, says many Palestinians face advanced illnesses, including cancers.  He says they struggle to get proper treatment because most Palestinians are refused permits to cross into Israel.

“Historically their main specialized hospitals have been charitable hospitals serving the Palestinian population for a century and more, which are based in East Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was annexed by Israel in the 1967 war.  So to get there from the West Bank they have to cross the separation barrier,” Laurance said.

According to Laurance's research, 19 percent of patients in the West Bank who applied for Israeli permits for health-care reasons had their requests either denied or delayed.  He says the Israeli authorities have made efforts to improve access.  But Laurance says the efforts have not gone far enough.

“I think the Israeli authorities have made efforts to ensure as many people as possible get their permits in time, but still there are 10 percent of patients that do not.  And that 10 percent, 1,000 patients a year approximately, is an issue of concern.  Statistics do not sound very telling or emotional, do they?  But when you think of this in terms of the individuals concerned or their families, I think you begin to appreciate what it actually means to the human beings involved,” Laurance said.

A spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Health declined to comment to VOA on the findings of the Lancet reports.  The Lancet has been annually highlighting the plight of Palestinians.

In 2009, the journal described the health-care system in the Palestinian territories as "fragmented and incoherent".  An Israeli government spokesperson described that report as one-sided propaganda.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid