First Gaza H1N1 infections

2009-12-06 21:15

Gaza City - Gaza heath officials have confirmed the territory's first five cases of H1N1 flu, but say there is not enough vaccine for health workers.

Gaza health official Dr Hassan Khalaf reported the five H1N1 flu cases on Sunday.

Senior World Health Organisation official Mahmoud Daher said the situation is "serious" because Gaza has only 1 000 vaccine doses for around 8 000 health employees.

The reason appears to be the rivalry between Gaza's militant Hamas rulers and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority that governs the West Bank. Gaza officials say the Palestinian Authority is meant to send medicines, but it keeps Gaza short of drugs.

Gaza's overworked health system has also been weakened by a two-year Israeli blockade imposed when Hamas seized power.