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Lancet Study Series Examines Health In The Gaza Strip

Reuters reports on a series of studies published Friday in the Lancet, which examine the health of populations living in the Gaza Strip.

The studies, which look at the effects of the violence on the region, conclude that Israel’s blockade of the territory could “cause long-term damage to Palestinians’ health, with many children at risk of stunted growth or malnutrition.”

“Israel has slightly eased” its blockade of the Gaza Strip, which was first imposed in 2006, the news service notes. “Despite its blockade, Israel allows medical and humanitarian aid into Gaza and the Israeli military says 7,000 Palestinians visit Israel from Gaza each month for medical treatment for serious conditions,” Reuters adds.

Among other findings, one study (.pdf) showed that 70 percent of households relied on food aid (Kelland, 7/2).

“Public health researchers led by Niveen Abu-Rmeileh of Birzeit University in the West Bank carried out a study of around 3,000 Gazan households, numbering nearly 18,000 people, six months after the conflict. … Funding for the research was provided by Medical Aid for Palestinians, a long-established British humanitarian group,” Agence France-Presse writes (7/2).

Another study (.pdf) of around 2,000 children and adolescents, found that one in four Palestinian children “misses breakfast – the main indicator of healthy eating habits – while one in 10 is anaemic, and one in 17 is stunted,” Reuters reports. “Around 2 percent are underweight and 15 percent are either overweight or obese” (7/2).