Sunday, January 24, 2021

Israel pressured to allow vaccines into occupied Palestine

By Ary Gotlib - December 24, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [UNICEF] [Health Care]

In cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the children’s fund, UNICEF, the Palestinian Ministry of Health succeeded in pressuring the Israeli authorities to allow entry of vaccines for children for 2019 into the occupied Palestinian territories, reported Maan News Agency.

But the threat of a lack of vaccines remains on the medium term.
Two weeks ago, Israeli authorities issued a decree to prevent The Palestinian Ministry of Health from importing children vaccines.
IMEMC reported that the decree was supposed to come into force starting from the beginning of 2019, according to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Asaad Ramlawi.
The Israeli state claimed that a law voted in 1986 restricted import of the vaccines from only 10 countries.
However, since the establishment in 1995 of the Palestinian Ministry of Health, it has only imported vaccines from the countries that were certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) and vaccines brought to Palestine by UNICEF.
The ten nations listed by Israel do not have an interest to produce vaccines, and therefore do not have the required certificate for such from WHO.
It means that the Palestinian Ministry of Health cannot import from these countries in any case.
Assad Ramlawi, wondered about the timing of the Israeli decision to bring into force a 32 years old law. “Why now?," he asked in an interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio station.
Dr. Ramlawi was worried that the Israeli decree has put the supply of vaccinations at risk; the Ministry of Health has resources for just two months of vaccine provision, after which there will be a serious problem if the issue is not resolved, pointed out the Palestine News Network.
The Ministry of Health, together with WHO and UNICEF, succeeded to make Israel back track on this decision.
For the past 18 years, according to Ramlawi, the Ministry of Health has successfully achieved 100% coverage of the area with vaccine provision, resulting in eradication of those diseases which are vaccinated against.
There once was, for exemple, poliomyelitis, varicella or measles.
Wafa reported that the decision by the Israeli occupation authorities put this achievement, and the health of children, at risk.
Yasser Bouzieh, The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health lamented that a lack of vaccination could have resulted in the spread of disease, not only in Palestine, but in the whole of the region, potentially threatening thousands of people.

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