Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Health Situation in Gaza

Jamila AlHabash was 16 when she lost both her legs in Operation Cast Lead. She’s in France for surgical treatment Getty Images
Doctors of the World were shocked by the violence that characterised the boarding of the flotilla in the Mediterranean sea on its way to the Gaza Strip on 31st May and deplores the resulting loss of human life.This event highlights the critical situation created by the blockade that for 3 years has plunged one and a half million Palestinians into an ongoing medical and economic crisis.



PARIS, June 3, 2010 (WAFA)- Doctors of the World (Medecins du Monde- MDM) called for the lifting of the blockade of Gaza in order to improve long-term the living conditions and health of its inhabitants.

In a press release MDM said it was shocked by the violence that characterized the boarding of the flotilla in the sea off Gaza on 31st May and deplores the resulting loss of human life. This event highlights the critical situation created by the blockade that for 3 years has plunged one and a half million Palestinians into an ongoing medical and economic crisis.

Numerous medical treatments are currently unavailable both inside the Gaza Strip, because of the blockade and the resulting shortages, and outside the Strip because referring patients abroad remains problematic due to restrictions on movements into and out of Gaza. During 2009, 27 people died after having been refused the chance of medical care outside the country.

In addition, lengthy power cuts of between 6 and 12 hours a day considerably disrupt the running of hospitals, particularly as regards operating essential medical equipment and refrigerating vaccines; certain types of medical equipment remain out of use in public health centers. Equally, between 15 and 20% of essential medicines are regularly out of stock.. This is also the case for the drugs needed to treat certain chronic illnesses, for neonatal care and for treating cancer. 'And if these medicines should become available, you have to go to private medical centers to buy them. They're sold at too high a price for the majority of people in Gaza,' explain the Doctors of the World team in Palestine.

The blockade in force also affects human medical resources: as it is impossible to access good quality medical training inside or outside the Gaza Strip, doctors in Gaza cannot benefit from appropriate continuing professional development, particularly in cardiovascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics and neurosurgery.

Related articles from WHO:

Health services close to collapse in Gaza
Health situation in Gaza 
Unimpeded access of medical supplies needed for Gaza

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