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Epidemic feared in Gaza sheltering centers as skin infections spread

Aug. 27, 2014 11:08 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2014 9:49 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Displaced Gaza residents in sheltering centers are suffering from dangerous skin infections which could become a epidemic as a result of water shortage, the Ministry of Health says.

Speaking to Ma'an, the director of the chronic diseases department said about 50 percent of Gazans who live in sheltering centers suffer from skin problems such as fungal infections, scabies and lice.

The main reason for such infections, added Dr Kamal Shakhra, is the severe water shortage.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has shipped truckloads of medicines for skin conditions from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. In addition, a delegation of four dermatologists from the West Bank has been checking hundreds of people in the sheltering centers.

The severe water shortage and the fact that too many people sleep in small rooms helps spread the diseases quickly, so a dermatologist should be available in each sheltering center day and night, added Dr Shakhra.

For his part, Palestinian Minister of Health Jawad Awwad told Ma’an that his ministry contacted several international organizations and donors to try and provide medicines for all Gaza residents who were injured or those who suffered different infections during the war on Gaza.

The ministry is following up with the health situation in Gaza in cooperation with the World Health Organization, added Awwad.
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