190637 Health impacts of war in the Middle East

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:00 PM

Nancy E. Stoller, PhD , Department of Community Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
Alan F. Meyers, MD, MPH , Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Alice Rothchild, MD , Obstetrics Gynecology & Repro. Bio. - BIDMC, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Conditions continue to deteriorate for the civilian population of the occupied Palestinian territories, especially for the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip, who suffer the combined effects of Israeli military assault, economic blockade, and a virtual sealing of its borders. An Israeli airstrike in February 2008 destroyed the main Gaza clinic and pharmacy of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. Hospitals in Gaza have declared an emergency status due to depletion of their generators' fuel reserves, which also impede the functions of Gaza's 56 primary health care facilities. Shortages of fuel and spare parts have crippled sewage treatment facilities, forcing the diversion of constant streams of raw sewage into the Mediterranean Sea, where fecal contamination has been documented by the WHO. A survey by UNICEF found a nearly 50% increase in the undernutrition rate of children under age 5. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has documented Israel's denial of passage out of Gaza for treatment of critically ill patients. In the West Bank, home to 2.6 million Palestinians, obstacles to travel placed by the Israeli military had increased through April 2008 despite pledges by the Israeli government to ease restriction of movement. This presentation will provide further details of the health consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gathered by the October 2008 delegation of Jewish Voice for Peace's Health and Human Rights Project.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the public health consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the civilian population of the occupied Palestinian territories; List specific measures undertaken by the Jewish Voice for Peace’s Health and Human Rights Project to to provide care, material aid, and exchange information regarding the health impacts of the war on civilian populations.

Keywords: War, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have traveled in Gaza and the West Bank and interviewed a number of health care providers in the area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: War and Public Health
See more of: Peace Caucus