On the 24th of October, Dr Ashraf Al-Qedra spokesman of the Ministry of Health in GAZA warned of an epidemic wave which may sweep the Gaza Strip. This follows news of 3,150 cases of reported epidemic diseases. Most of these cases are among children, recorded by primary health care centres within one day in the governorates in the Gaza Strip.
This raises fears of a large epidemic wave in light of the large overcrowding in shelter centres in addition, to the scarcity of portable water and personal hygiene. The diseases include cholera, diarrhoea, food poisoning, bronchial infections and scabies.
To prevent the spread of these diseases the Ministry of Health has called on the international community to provide basic services in Gaza including water, electricity and sanitation. Although humanitarian organisations have attempted to provide aid to combat this, they are reliant on this to be let through the Rafah Crossing which remains the only route for aid in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli attacks in the last 18 days have killed 5,791 Palestinians, 2,360 of those children. With 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza now displaced, this threat of an epidemic wave is a serious cause for concern as an increasing number of Palestinians are forced to stay on the streets with no protection, aid and sanitation.