Thousands of doses of childhood vaccines enter Gaza -Palestinian health ministry

    Thousands of doses of childhood vaccines enter Gaza -Palestinian health ministry

    RAMALLAH (Reuters) – Thousands of doses of vaccines against childhood diseases including polio and measles have begun entering the Gaza Strip to help deal with a growing health emergency in the besieged enclave, the Palestinian health ministry said on Monday.

    Israel’s ground offensive has effectively stopped normal health services in Gaza, including vaccinations against highly contagious childhood diseases that had been brought under control by mass immunization programmes.

    The ministry said supplies, estimated to be sufficient to cover vaccinations for between 8 and 14 months, had entered Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt with the aid of Egyptian government cold storage facilities.

    Israel announced on Friday that it would facilitate the entry of the vaccines to help prevent the spread of disease.

    Yasser Bouzia, head of international relations in the health ministry in Ramallah, said there were estimated to be some 60,000 new born babies in Gaza, who would normally receive vaccination but who have been largely cut off from medical services.

    He said administering the vaccines would be difficult because most of Gaza’s population had been driven from their homes, with hundreds of thousands living in tents or other temporary accommodation.

    The vaccines against diseases including rubella, polio, measles and mumps come from supplies purchased by the Palestinian health ministry and also donated by UNICEF, the United Nations children’s fund, the ministry said.

    (Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Editing by James Mackenzie and Alison Williams)

    Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. ThePrint holds no responsibilty for its content.

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