Typhoid Outbreak in Yarmouk, more suspected cases

Press Release

A child waits outside the UNRWA health point in Yalda ©UNRWA, 2015

A child waits outside the UNRWA health point in Yalda ©UNRWA, 2015

UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness said on Wednesday that the vulnerability of civilians in Yarmouk remains of the highest severity, as new cases of typhoid are diagnosed.

“Our health teams in Syria are finding increasing evidence of a typhoid outbreak among civilians from Yarmouk, in Damascus. Today we saw 320 patients and among them were three suspected cases of typhoid. This brings the total figure of suspected cases to 90. That is 90 too many,” he said.

UNRWA conducted humanitarian operations in Yalda on 23 September, providing vital healthcare to civilians displaced from Yarmouk and host communities. Their report follows:

Situation Report – 23 September 2015

UNRWA medical personnel established a health point in Yalda, treating 320 patients over the course of the day. This included 3 suspected cases of typhoid.

As high summer temperatures and regular interruptions in water and food supplies continue to affect Yarmouk, Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham, communicable illness remains a source of profound vulnerability for civilians.

Health services in these areas are extremely limited and lack the capacity to respond to major outbreaks and other serious health needs. For this reason, it is vital that UNRWA medical assistance continues on an indefinite basis and is expanded to include other humanitarian support, particularly food.

UNRWA’s priority remains the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians within Yarmouk itself and reiterates its strong demand for respect and compliance with obligations to protect civilians and to establish secure conditions under which UNRWA can deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance.

Call for support

· As armed violence continues to threaten the lives and safety of Palestine refugees throughout Syria, UNRWA appeals for donors to increase their support to the UNRWA Syria Crisis Appeal, which has received only 34% of the funds needed for 2015.

. More than 95% of Palestine refugees now rely on UNRWA to meet their daily needs of food, water and healthcare.

. Priority interventions include cash assistance, which enables UNRWA to serve 460,000 Palestine refugees in need. Additional funding is also required for critical non-food items including blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits for displaced Palestine refugee families throughout Syria.