Assessing the Situation of Women in Gaza
|MAP: Situation in Gaza Strip (as of 15 Jan 2009) Fast Facts on the Gaza Strip|
Gaza, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 10 March 2009— Emergency situations compound the vulnerability of pregnant women, as an assessment of reproductive health services during the recent crisis here revealed.
Surveyed facilities reported a 31 per cent increase in miscarriage cases admitted to maternity ward during the conflict, as well as an increase in obstetric complications. One hospital reported a 50 per cent increase in neonatal death.
The information comes from rapid assessments supported by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to gauge the impact of Gaza's most recent crisis on the reproductive and mental health of women and girls. During Israel's 23-day military campaign in the Gaza Strip, about 1,300 Palestinians were killed and some 5,300 were injured, in the heavy bombardment and fighting in densely populated areas, according to UN sources.
The first assessment helped determine the extent and effects of damage to health facilities and services, especially maternal, newborn and obstetric care services. Data were consolidated from monthly facility service records, assessments of maternity wards in major hospitals, secondary analysis of ministry of health operations room reports, and qualitative feedback from key informants.
Some 5,000 deliveries occurred in medical facilities in January compared to an average of 4,000 deliveries per month prior to the crisis, according to the report. The increase, which does not include deliveries that occurred outside of a medical facility, may reflect premature deliveries resulting from stress and shock. more...