UNRWA Upgrades International Disease Classification System across Health Centres

08 October 2020
Dr. Osama Al-Haj Ali, Medical Officer at UNRWA’s Main Baqa’a Health Centre in Jordan during a medical consultation to a patient. © 2020 UNRWA Photo by George Awwad

Today, the Department of Health at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced the integration of the latest revision of the disease classification system ICD (International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems) into its e-health system, upgrading it from ICD-10 to ICD-11. ICD is the international standard for systematic recording, reporting, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality and morbidity data. Currently, ICD is in the custody of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WHO target is to have the current ICD replaced by ICD-11 on 1 January 2022 by all countries. This upgraded classification system will be available to the more than three million Palestine refugees who are served at UNRWA health clinics throughout the Agency’s five fields of operation every year

The Director of the UNRWA Department of Health, Dr. Akihiro Seita, said: “Today, we celebrate this achievement with our World Health Organization (WHO) partners. We will share our experiences in this journey to build the Agency’s healthcare infrastructure. UNRWA was proactive in choosing to update to the ICD-11 system, ahead of the WHO target implementation date of January 2022. This upgrade was made possible by UNRWA health staff in close coordination with WHO.”

This is innovation follows in an extensive line of service development, including the UNRWA Family Health Team approach, which groups a family under the care of a single medical team, the e-Health system, a paperless records tool and the Mother and Child Health (MCH) mobile application, used by Palestine refugee mothers pre and postpartum. To date, nearly all UNRWA medical doctors have completed the associated ICD-11 online certification course in time for its roll out on 12 September 2020.

Since 1950, UNRWA remains committed, together with WHO and other concerned UN agencies, to its mission to help Palestine refugees achieve their full human development potential and well-being.

To read more click here for the launch report and here for a summary leaflet

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.6 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+962 (0)79 090 0140