Over 800 public health experts sign letter to demand ceasefire in Gaza

“The single most impactful public health intervention that could be implemented in Gaza today would be a cessation of hostilities,” write the health experts.

By Peoples Dispatch

Health workers and activists with the People’s Health Movement raise the Palestinian flag at the 5th People’s Health Assembly in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Photo: PHM

An open letter signed by over 800 public health experts decries the “public health catastrophe” created by Israel’s incessant attacks on Gaza. The letter was published on April 7, which marks World Health Day, as well as the six-month anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Flood operation and the start of the Israeli genocide in Gaza.

The letter has been endorsed by several global health organizations, including the People’s Health Movement (PHM), a grassroots network of health workers, activists, organizations, and academics spread across the globe.

The letter points to the “man-made starvation” of adults as well as “an estimated 12.4 to 16.5% of children under 5” in the Northern part of Gaza alone, compromised water and sanitation systems, and the deliberate targeting of of Gaza’s health infrastructure as factors contributing the the public health emergency on the Strip. “The effects of all of these crises are compounded by the collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system,” details the letter.

The letter holds Israel responsible for these conditions. “Gazans who have survived Israel’s incessant bombardment and ground invasion face a public health catastrophe,” the letter states.

The letter lays out four demands: an immediate, unconditional and sustained ceasefire, protection of health workers and access to health facilities, the restoration of clean drinking water and reliable sanitation, and the entry of much-needed humanitarian aid.

Dr. Roman Vega, the Global Coordinator of the People’s Health Movement, stated, “We stand in solidarity with our colleagues and comrades in Gaza who continue bravely in a struggle between life and death. We cannot watch in silence as two million Palestinians go without food, water and healthcare, and hospitals, healthcare workers and patients are systematically attacked.”

Read more: Israel has ripped the heart out of Gaza’s health system by destroying Al-Shifa Hospital

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