Occupied Palestinian territory | News | Press releases | 2014 | WHO mobilizes medical supplies funded by the Russian Federation for the Ministry of Health

WHO mobilizes medical supplies funded by the Russian Federation for the Ministry of Health

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27 April 2015: Ramallah – During a handover ceremony in the Ministry of Health in Ramallah H.E. the Palestinian Minister of Health Dr Jawad Awwad welcomed the latest shipment of medicines and surgical equipment mobilized by WHO and funded by the Russian Federation to the Palestinian Authority. Russian Federation Ambassador Alexander Rudakov and WHO Head of Office for West Bank and Gaza, Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, participated in the ceremony.

The Russian Federation support to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is an important contribution to cover urgent needs for medications and medical supplies in health facilities in Gaza. Russia is a key supporter of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global emergency program; funding is used for procurement of supplies and a global contingency stock of emergency health kits. Following the Gaza crisis in summer 2014 and to help overcome chronic shortages of pharmaceuticals in Palestine WHO has deployed emergency health kits and surgical kits to Gaza. 

During the ceremony the Minister highlighted the continued challenges for the Ministry of Health to overcome chronic drug shortages: “The support from donors, in particular from the Russian Federation, to help overcome acute gaps in medical supplies is highly appreciated.” Chronic shortages of essential medicines have been averaging 30% over the past 5 years, and up to 50% for medical disposables.

Ambassador Rudakov underlined the support Russia is providing to strengthen WHO’s global emergency program: “I am pleased that this support provided by Russia is also benefitting Palestine and that supplies could be mobilized by WHO to cover urgent health needs in Gaza.”

Apart from medications and basic medical supplies the shipment also contains much needed surgical equipment and supplies for surgical operations: “This is very important so that hospitals in Gaza can replenish their stocks and can ensure that often lifesaving surgical interventions can be provided to patients in Gaza,” WHO’s Gerald Rockenschaub said.

The shipment, which arrived through Tel Aviv airport WHO mobilizes medical supplies funded by the Russian Federation for the Ministry of Healthirport, consists of 20 Interagency Emergency Health Kit (IEHK) basic units, 1 IEHK supplementary module, sufficient to cover basic emergency needs for pharmaceuticals for 20 000 people in Gaza over a three-month period, and 2 trauma kits and 2 surgical supply kits for operations.

During the recent Gaza crisis, WHO has been working with the Palestinian Ministry of Health and health cluster partners to ensure delivery of essential medicines to health authorities and to strengthen and streamline health interventions of health partners. While the shipment is covering immediate gaps, efforts need to be further enhanced to mobilize resources to overcome the chronic shortages of pharmaceuticals in Palestine.

Media contact

Dr Mahmoud Daher
WHO Gaza office:  08-282-2033