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More people at risk of death from disease than bombings in Gaza – WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday expressed fear that more people could die from diseases than from bombings in the Gaza Strip if the health system in the enclave was not restored.

A WHO official, Margaret Harris, who addressed journalists in Geneva, Switzerland, said the United Nations health agency was concerned about a rise in outbreaks of infectious diseases, particularly diarrhea

She said: “Eventually we will see more people dying from disease than from bombardment if we are not able to put back together this health system.”

Harris said more than 15,000 people have been killed in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, with around 40 percent of them children.

“There are no medicines, no vaccination activities, no access to safe water and hygiene and no food. We saw a very high number of cases of diarrhea among infants,” she added.

READ ALSO: Blast kills at least 70 near Gaza hospital

She described the collapse of Al Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza as a “tragedy” and voiced concern about the detention of some of its medical staff by Israeli forces during a WHO evacuation convoy.

A spokesperson from the UN Children’s Agency in Gaza, James Elder, told reporters that hospitals in Gaza were full of children with war wounds and gastroenteritis from drinking dirty water.

“I met a lot of parents … They know exactly what their children need. They don’t have access to safe water and it’s crippling them,” he said.

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