More people could die from disease than from bombings in the Gaza Strip if the health and sanitation systems are not repaired, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared.
“Eventually we will see more people dying from disease than from bombardment if we are not able to put back together this health system,” said Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the WHO, speaking at a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.
She described the collapse of al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza as a “tragedy” and expressed concern about the incarceration of some of its medical staff by Israeli forces who took over the complex earlier this month.
She likewise repeated concerns about a rise in outbreaks of infectious diseases in Gaza, particularly diarrhoeal diseases.
The WHO has recorded more than 44,000 cases of diarrhoea and 70,000 acute respiratory infections, but real numbers may be significantly higher.