#WorldHealthDay

The incidence of foodborne and waterborne diseases among Palestine refugees has been steadily decreasing since UNRWA records began. However, a slight upturn between 2013 and 2014, which can be attributed to the conflicts in Syria and Gaza, shows the importance of ongoing vigilance. 

 

World Health Day 2015. © UNRWA Photo by Alaa Ghosheh

The incidence of foodborne and waterborne diseases among Palestine refugees has been steadily decreasing since UNRWA records began. However, a slight upturn between 2013 and 2014, which can be attributed to the conflicts in Syria and Gaza, shows the importance of ongoing vigilance. 

World Health Day 2015 is dedicated to food safety. Therefore, UNRWA staff and students are using the occasion to raise awareness about the importance of ensuring the food on peoples’ plates is safe to eat.

UNRWA thanks the top five donors to its regular budget - the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway - for their support for the health of five million Palestine refugees.


Conflicts and crises mean food safety vigilance is as important as ever in 2015

In emergencies, food and water safety measures can spiral out of control. The increase of hepatitis in Syria and diarrhoea in Gaza and Syria during emergencies, for example, is evidence of the threat. 

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Safe and healthy eating in Jordan

An UNRWA staff member discusses the ‘five keys to safer food’ at South Baqa’a health centre in Jordan. © UNRWA Photo

 

UNRWA health staff are using World Health Day 2015 to raise awareness about the importance of ensuring that food on peoples’ plates is safe to eat. Reduced incidence of foodborne and waterborne diseases among Palestine refugees in recent decades is no excuse for complacency, as unsafe food can cause more than 200 diseases, and kills an estimated 2 million people around the world each year.

Community outreach activities, such as those held on World Health Day, are part of the health services UNRWA provides to Palestine refugees. All UNRWA services, including health care, are funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions; the largest individual donor is the Government of the United States.  

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Operating health services in a conflict zone

UNRWA faces challenges in providing health services in Syria, including the damage and destruction of facilities. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad

 

Addressing the healthcare requirements of the 480,000 Palestine refugees in Syria is complex. After four years of conflict, with the Syrian health care system at virtual collapse, UNRWA has had to adapt the way it delivers primary health care to Palestine refugees whether they live in besieged neighborhoods, active conflict zones, or relatively calm areas. 

UNRWA operates 14 health care centres in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Dera’a and Latakia. The Agency has opened an additional 12 health points in new locations to give Palestine refugees better access to facilities as they cope with mass displacement.

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Five keys to safer food 


Our World Health Day poster


UNRWA thanks its top five regular budget donors for their support for the health of five million Palestine refugees

World Health Day 2015 footer. © UNRWA