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WHO Warns of Health Crisis in Gaza Amid Heat Wave

Rising Health Concerns Due to Heat

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised alarms about the potential worsening of health problems in Gaza due to the extreme heat. This warning comes in the wake of intense Israeli bombardment and ongoing heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants, which have led to significant displacement of Palestinians.

Looming Public Health Crisis

The World Food Programme (WFP) has highlighted a severe public health crisis on the horizon in Gaza, driven by the lack of clean water, food, and medical supplies. Richard Peeperkorn, the WHO representative for Gaza and the West Bank, emphasized the compounded risk factors: massive displacement combined with extreme heat is likely to increase disease outbreaks.

Water and Food Safety Threats

Peeperkorn pointed out that the high temperatures are causing water contamination and food spoilage, which can lead to an increase in waterborne diseases and foodborne illnesses. The hot weather conditions are expected to exacerbate problems like dehydration, heat stroke, and an upsurge in insect populations such as mosquitoes and flies.

Surge in Diarrheal Diseases

According to the WHO, the incidence of diarrheal diseases in Gaza has surged to levels 25 times higher than usual, attributed to poor water and sanitation conditions. Contaminated water and inadequate sanitation are linked to diseases like cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.

Medical Evacuations and Critical Health Needs

Since the closure of the Rafah crossing in early May, the WHO has been unable to carry out medical evacuations from Gaza. An estimated 10,000 patients require urgent medical evacuation, with half suffering from war-related ailments.

Death Toll and Conflict Background

Health authorities in Gaza report that more than 37,400 people have been killed due to Israel’s air and ground offensive. This military action was initiated in response to an attack by Hamas fighters on October 7, where around 1,200 people were killed, and over 250 were taken hostage in southern Israel.


The combination of ongoing conflict, extreme heat, and deteriorating living conditions in Gaza poses a significant public health threat. Immediate international attention and intervention are required to address the urgent needs of the displaced population and prevent further health crises.

Source: Inputs from various media Sources 

the aartery chronicles

Priya Bairagi

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