Gaza, alert by doctors and scientist accounting, by scientific research, for "unseen victims"
Long term effects of weapon use and of war remnants in Gaza
The modern wars do not stop at the closing of the hostilities but leave some environmentally stable contaminants, that accumulate in living and affect the health of the civilian population, always targeted, for years afterwards. How many years, we do not yet know.
Reproductive damages such as malformations at birth and premature births, with the associated high frequency of newborn mortality and illnesses, are increasing in Gaza after the reiterated military operations in the last 7 years, reach worrying levels, and do not decline jet, in 2016.
Malformed and premature babies were shown to be contaminated in utero by specific weapons-delivered heavy metals, which were already shown to be delivered by ammunitions used in Gaza, and that have known damaging effects on normal development of the embryos.
Malformations at birth and prematurity together account for 60% of newborn mortality.
The present increase of these damages can result in an excess of 1,000-1,500 dead newborns each year only due to the increase in premature births.
We alert that:
1. The damages on reproductive health by metal contamination are not transient but continue in time.
Surveillance is necessary
2. The registry of births is the central point for surveillance of child and mother health.
A strategy must be developed to sustain the task of surveillance at birth
3. Analytical and molecular studies must be done to inform on possibilities to develop remedies
Work, funding and access to Gaza of independent professionals must be facilitated
Political action is needed
Stop ignoring the evidences that show the attacks on Gaza involved the civilians, that they have long term effect and acknowledge the child victims in Gaza as the first documented long term consequence of these attacks.
Act to open all Gaza borders stably for professionals in both directions to potentiate quality of the research and of provision of health.
Support independent fact finding and research by funding and facilitating the personnel. Collect facts on health and contribute to obtain documentation as basis of any policy of care.
Prepared by Prof. Paola Manduca for NWRG, voluntary association dedicated to research, Italy - Most of the scientific work published is found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=manduca+p