Infection prevention and control and water, sanitation and hygiene measures

in health-care settings and shelters/ congregate settings in Gaza


As of January 31 2024, syndromic surveillance screening in the Gaza has reported 245 858 cases of acute respiratory infections, 161 285 cases of diarrhoea, 6 625 of chickenpox, and 7 737 cases of jaundice (1). The risk of further spread of epidemic-prone diseases is high due to overcrowding, inadequate water, sanitation and waste management, lack of medical/ infection prevention and control (IPC) and basic hygiene supplies, disruption of routine, vaccine-preventable disease programmes, and a dysfunctional health-care system, including staffing issues due to conflict. Assessing IPC- and Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)-related risks and implementing IPC and WASH measures is pivotal to mitigating the spread of infectious diseases and ensuring a safe environment for patients, visitors, family members and health and care workers. However, given the significant infrastructural damage combined with interrupted water, sanitation, waste management and energy services and reduced access to medical and IPC supplies, this document presents a tailored approach to the implementation of core IPC and WASH measures. This technical note is based on the guiding principles of:

• Sphere handbook (2),

• Standard precautions for the prevention and control of infections: aide-memoire (3),

• Transmission-based precautions for the prevention and control of infections: aide-memoire (4),

• Essential environmental health standards for health-care (5).

This technical note contains two sections: 1) Health-care1 2) Shelters1/congregate settings

Publication date