WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES PRESSER

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “WHO is horrified by the killing of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen in Gaza on Monday,” reiterating that “an effective and transparent mechanism for deconfliction must be put in place to ensure humanitarian convoys can move safely.” WHO
Description

STORY: WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES PRESSER
TRT: 8:17
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT WHO ON SCREEN
LANAGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 03 APRIL 2024, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

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Shotlist

1. Wide Shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“WHO is horrified by the killing of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen in Gaza on Monday. The work they were doing was saving lives, providing food to thousands of starving people. Their cars were clearly marked and should never have been attacked. Delivering humanitarian aid in Gaza is already difficult and dangerous. Hungry people will go unfed because World Central Kitchen has quite understandably paused its operations. I honour our colleagues for their service, and for putting themselves in harm’s way to serve others.”
3. Wide Shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“WHO has been working with World Central Kitchen in Gaza to deliver food to health workers and patients in hospitals. This horrific incident highlights the extreme danger under which WHO colleagues and our partners are working – and will continue to work. But we can only do so with safe access. This means an effective and transparent mechanism for deconfliction must be put in place to ensure humanitarian convoys can move safely.”
5. Wide Shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“We need more entry points, including in northern Gaza, cleared roads, and predictable and expedited passage through checkpoints. Delays and denials of humanitarian missions not only prevent us from reaching those in need, but also impact other operations and deliveries by diverting scarce resources.”
7. Wide Shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
We as humanitarians can disclose very sensitive information to those militaries. We can tell them who that we are, where we are, where we're going, what we're taking, how long we will be so that they can use their military tactics to avoid attacking us so we can serve the people. That is a common objective of a responsible military, acting responsibly in a conflict for which they believe they have a justification to carry out. That is not my choice to make, but it is the responsibility of all combatants in a military conflict to abide by the international humanitarian law, which is to allow access for humanitarians to the population who are at risk, and to ensure that the access for those humanitarians is planned, guaranteed and supported.”
9. Wide Shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:

“In addition to the attack on World Central Kitchen convoy, we are likewise appalled that Al-Shifa hospital has been put out of action, and that much of it has been badly damaged or destroyed. Over the last few days, WHO’s team in Gaza has been seeking permission to access what is left of the hospital, to speak with staff and to see what can be saved. But at the moment, the situation looks disastrous.”
11. Wide Shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Al-Shifa was the largest hospital and main referral centre in the Gaza Strip, with 750 beds, 26 operating rooms, 32 intensive care rooms, a dialysis department and a central laboratory. I repeat: hospitals must be respected and protected; they must not be used as battlefields.”
13. Wide Shot, press briefing room
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“People will die because they will not get the services either from al-Shifa or because of slow evacuation because they cannot be evacuated.”
15. Wide Shot, press briefing room
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“The process for the evacuation has to be expedited. And people who need medical evacuation should be supported elsewhere. Otherwise we will lose many people. We will lose many lives.”
17. Wide Shot, press briefing room
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Richard Peeperkorn, WHO Representative, occupied Palestinian territory:
“What I can say now about Shifa, that thousands will be left without health care. They will have to move to a places in the north to Al-Ahli, to Kamal Adwan, to Al-Helou, which is a very small hospital, which has also struggled to remain open and to places like that.”
19. Wide Shot, press briefing room
20. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Since the conflict began, WHO has verified 906 attacks on health care in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and Lebanon, resulting in 736 deaths and 1014 injuries. Only 10 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are still able to function even partially. WHO will continue to support those hospitals to deliver services as best they can. More than 33,000 people have now been killed in Gaza, and almost 80,000 injured.”
21. Wide Shot, press briefing room
22. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“This Sunday marks six months since the conflict began. WHO welcomes last week’s UN Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire and we call for its immediate implementation. Once again, we call for all hostages to be released, and for lasting peace.”
23. Wide Shot, press briefing room
24. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Now to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is experiencing a severe outbreak of mpox. More than 4500 suspected cases and almost 300 deaths have been reported so far this year – triple the number of cases and deaths reported in the first quarter of last year. Nineteen of DRC’s 26 provinces have reported cases, and 70 percent of cases and 87 percent of deaths are in children under 15 years of age.”
25. Wide Shot, press briefing room
26. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“These outbreaks are being caused by clade one of the virus that causes mpox, which has been present in DRC for decades, and can cause higher mortality than the clade two virus that spread globally in 2022. WHO and our partners, including Africa CDC, are supporting the Ministry of Health to respond to the outbreak and to assess mpox vaccines.”
27. Wide Shot, press briefing room
28. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“The mpox outbreak is one of several overlapping crises in the DRC. There are also outbreaks of measles and cholera, severe flooding in more than half of provinces, and since the beginning of this year, more than 350,000 people have been displaced, mostly because of armed conflict.”
29. Wide Shot, press briefing room
30. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Now to the United States, where the US CDC has confirmed one case of H5N1 avian influenza in a person who works at a commercial dairy farm. The patient did not report any symptoms apart from eye redness, was not hospitalized, and is recovering.”
31. Wide Shot, press briefing room
32. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Investigations are continuing into how the person was infected, and WHO is in close contact with the US CDC. Any case of H5N1 is concerning because it is highly dangerous to humans, although it has never been shown to be easily transmissible between people.”
33. Wide Shot, press briefing room
34. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“On the pandemic agreement negotiation, one; there is progress already made until the last meeting. And second, there is a commitment by Member States to have a deal by May 2024.”
35. Wide shot, press briefing room

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Storyline

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “WHO is horrified by the killing of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen in Gaza on Monday,” reiterating that “an effective and transparent mechanism for deconfliction must be put in place to ensure humanitarian convoys can move safely.”

Tedros told reporters in Geneva today (03 Apr), “We need more entry points, including in northern Gaza, cleared roads, and predictable and expedited passage through checkpoints. Delays and denials of humanitarian missions not only prevent us from reaching those in need, but also impact other operations and deliveries by diverting scarce resources.”

WHO’s Dr Michael Ryan said, “We as humanitarians can disclose very sensitive information to those militaries. We can tell them who that we are, where we are, where we're going, what we're taking, how long we will be so that they can use their military tactics to avoid attacking us so we can serve the people. That is a common objective of a responsible military, acting responsibly in a conflict for which they believe they have a justification to carry out.”

“That is not my choice to make, but it is the responsibility of all combatants in a military conflict to abide by the international humanitarian law, which is to allow access for humanitarians to the population who are at risk, and to ensure that the access for those humanitarians is planned, guaranteed and supported,” he added.

On Al-Shifa hospital, WHO Director-General said, “In addition to the attack on World Central Kitchen convoy, we are likewise appalled that Al-Shifa hospital has been put out of action, and that much of it has been badly damaged or destroyed.”

He continued, “Over the last few days, WHO’s team in Gaza has been seeking permission to access what is left of the hospital, to speak with staff and to see what can be saved. But at the moment, the situation looks disastrous.”

Tedros also said, “Al-Shifa was the largest hospital and main referral centre in the Gaza Strip, with 750 beds, 26 operating rooms, 32 intensive care rooms, a dialysis department and a central laboratory.”

He reiterated, “hospitals must be respected and protected; they must not be used as battlefields.”

“People will die because they will not get the services either from al-Shifa or because of slow evacuation because they cannot be evacuated,” the Director-General said.

Tedros also said, “The process for the evacuation has to be expedited. And people who need medical evacuation should be supported elsewhere. Otherwise we will lose many people. We will lose many lives.”

WHO Representative for the occupied Palestinian territory, Dr Richard Peeperkorn spoke to reporters via a video link.

He said, “What I can say now about Shifa, that thousands will be left without health care. They will have to move to a places in the north to Al-Ahli, to Kamal Adwan, to Al-Helou, which is a very small hospital, which has also struggled to remain open and to places like that.”

The WHO Director-General said, “Since the conflict began, WHO has verified 906 attacks on health care in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and Lebanon, resulting in 736 deaths and 1014 injuries. Only 10 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are still able to function even partially. WHO will continue to support those hospitals to deliver services as best they can. More than 33,000 people have now been killed in Gaza, and almost 80,000 injured.”

Tedros reiterated, “This Sunday marks six months since the conflict began. WHO welcomes last week’s UN Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire and we call for its immediate implementation. Once again, we call for all hostages to be released, and for lasting peace.”

On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is experiencing a severe outbreak of mpox, the WHO chief said, “more than 4500 suspected cases and almost 300 deaths have been reported so far this year – triple the number of cases and deaths reported in the first quarter of last year. Nineteen of DRC’s 26 provinces have reported cases, and 70 percent of cases and 87 percent of deaths are in children under 15 years of age.”

He added, “These outbreaks are being caused by clade one of the virus that causes mpox, which has been present in DRC for decades, and can cause higher mortality than the clade two virus that spread globally in 2022. WHO and our partners, including Africa CDC, are supporting the Ministry of Health to respond to the outbreak and to assess mpox vaccines.”
“The mpox outbreak is one of several overlapping crises in the DRC,” the Director-General said, adding that “there are also outbreaks of measles and cholera, severe flooding in more than half of provinces, and since the beginning of this year, more than 350,000 people have been displaced, mostly because of armed conflict.”

On the United States, where the US CDC has confirmed one case of H5N1 avian influenza in a person who works at a commercial dairy farm, Tedros said, “the patient did not report any symptoms apart from eye redness, was not hospitalized, and is recovering.”

He added, “Investigations are continuing into how the person was infected, and WHO is in close contact with the US CDC. Any case of H5N1 is concerning because it is highly dangerous to humans, although it has never been shown to be easily transmissible between people.”

On the pandemic agreement negotiation, the Director-General said that “there is progress already made until the last meeting. And second, there is a commitment by Member States to have a deal by May 2024.”

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