05 March 2024

Infection prevention and control and water, sanitation and hygiene measures

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
04 August 2023

Climate Landscape Analysis for Children

The State of Palestine already faces the reality of climate instability, which is the long-term change in the Earth's average weather patterns. The average annual air temperature has reportedly increased over the past 20 years (2001−2020). Literature review suggests these changes will become more pronounced, leading to droughts, contaminated water supplies, and floods that overwhelm water treatment facilities. Climate change affects environmental and social standards, and the determinants of health. In the 'The climate crisis is a child rights crisis' report published by UNICEF in August 2021, the State of Palestine ranks 111 out of 163 countries where children are most at risk. At the national level, the risks associated with climate instability for children were highlighted only recently in the executive order issued in 2020, which made the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) a priority for all ministries. The Environment Quality Authority was appointed as the chair of the national committee for climate change. It now leads on the implementation of the National Adaptation Plan and NDC. However, the Palestinian Authority and other actors are challenged to act on climate change and to mobilize and allocate adequate resources. Control over natural resources, the Israeli occupation, the Palestinian internal political divide, and the financial and economic crisis also impact the process. UNICEF’s Climate Landscape Analysis for Children (CLAC) report includes an analysis of the Climate, Environment and Energy (CEE) situation in the State of Palestine and how it adversely affects children, their rights and their access to services such as health, education, water supply and sanitation, and social policy.