Documenting deaths as Israel’s restrictions on Gaza patient travel continue

This week the World Health Organisation (WHO) released its latest data on the restriction of movement for Palestinians requiring medical treatment outside of Gaza. The report demonstrates a continuing negative trend, with almost half (46%) of patients applying to leave Gaza via the Erez Crossing in March 2017 being refused a permit by the Israeli authorities, or not receiving a response in time to attend their appointments. This is up from 40% delayed or denied in February.

More than half (55%) of patients’ companions – family members accompanying patients to hospital – were also denied permits or received no response to their requests.

Gaza’s health system is struggling from the effects of a decade of blockade and closure, deemed collective punishment by the UN and the ICRC and contrary to international law, the impact of repeated military offensives, and frequent shortages of essential medications. Hospitals in Gaza have been further impacted recently by the ongoing fuel crisis which has caused them to reduce cleaning and sterilisation services and cancel some operations. Many medical specialties and treatments – such as radiotherapy for cancer and some cardiac surgery – are completely unavailable in Gaza, meaning that patients must be referred to hospitals elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory (East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank) or abroad to receive adequate care.

Behind each case of a denied or delayed permit is an individual story of a sick or injured person unable to access the care which they need. Sometimes these cases can have tragic outcomes, and the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights has recorded six cases this year of patients who have died after either being refused a permit or not receiving a response in time for them to reach hospital.

Shirin Mohamed Al-Ali, 39. Repeatedly received no response to requests for travel permits to receive cancer treatment at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem from late 2015 to early 2017. Died 9 January 2017 after the cancer metastasised to other parts of her body.

Ahmed Hasan Shubeir, 17. Had travelled several times to receive treatment for a congenital heart defect in hospitals in Israel and the West Bank. In February 2016, his family applied for a permit again, and his mother was summoned for security interview at Erez crossing, where attempts were reportedly made to coerce her into cooperating with the Israeli authorities in order to secure a permit. Subsequent attempts to receive a permit throughout 2016 received no response or were refused. Ahmed was himself reportedly coerced at an Israeli security interview in late 2016, and subsequently denied a permit. He died on 14 January 2017, two weeks before his re-scheduled appointment.

Eman Saleem Al-Kahlout, 48. Was urgently referred to Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem on the morning of 11 February. She died later that evening of complications following a heart attack, after Israeli authorities stalled in assessing her application.

Aya Khalil Abu-Mutlaq, 5. Aya was born with a metabolic disorder which required treatment outside of Gaza. Israeli authorities failed to respond to two applications for permission to exit for appointments in February and March at the Al Mekassed Hospital in East Jerusalem. They re-scheduled a third time for an appointment  on 27 April, but while the family were awaiting a permit Aya’s health deteriorated and she died on 17 April 2017.

Walid Mohamed Qa’oud, 59. Underwent a partial colectomy for colon cancer in Gaza in 2008, and exited Gaza for scans at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem on 10 November 2015 after cancerous cells were detected in his lungs. On his way back to Gaza, Walid was reportedly detained by Israeli forces for six hours at the Erez crossing, where he was strip-searched, forced to stand in a stressful posture, and interrogated about his family. He was told he would not be allowed to exit again unless he brought his sons to meet Israeli intelligence agents. Later applications for exit for treatment at the Augusta Victoria Hospital were rejected or delayed, and in the meantime his health deteriorated. He attended one medical appointment in Egypt when able to exit via the Rafah crossing, but subsequent applications for exit via Erez were again not responded to. He was called to security interview on 21 March 2017 but was unable to attend due to his health. He died on 2 May, 2017.

Kholoud Alsa’aidni, 36. This month, the WHO highlighted the case of 36-year-old lab technician and mother of two Kholoud Alsa’aidni:

 “Alsa’aidni, a 36-year-old woman and lab technician from Al-Burij refugee camp, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the Gaza European hospital in April 2016. Following one chemotherapy session at Al-Rantesi Hospital, doctors in Gaza decided to refer her for treatment outside Gaza. Kholoud, a mother of two children, applied four times for an Israeli permit. Three times her request was still under study at the time of her hospital appointment, forcing her to miss appointments at Al Ahli Hospital in Hebron in December 2016 and in early January 2017 and at Augusta Victoria Hospital in late January 2017. Her fourth application for travel 22 February 2017 to Augusta Victoria Hospital was approved.

Kholoud’s mother, who was accompanying her on that date, said that when they arrived to Erez, Kholoud was stopped for a security interview. She was asked by Israeli security officers to provide information on one of her relatives in return for allowing her to cross Erez. Kholoud replied that she did not have any information about the relative.

At that point, said Kholoud’s mother, “We were forced by the Israeli security to return to Gaza. Altogether the travel to Erez, the waiting at the border and the security interview amounted to seven hours and Kholoud’s medical condition deteriorated as a result. We returned back at Al-Rantesi Hospital in Gaza. She was suffering from dehydration and was treated with a drip solution and a dose of chemotherapy over a period of five days.”

Kholoud’s husband arranged to change her medical referral to Egypt and she managed the difficult trip through Rafah and Sinai to Egypt on 8 March 2017 after 3 months of delay. In a Cairo hospital, her condition continued to deteriorate and she died on 12 March 2017.”

(Source / 19.05.2017)

Gaza patients denied right to get treatment abroad

Only 60% of Gaza patients granted Israeli permits to travel abroad for treatment

A Palestinian patient waits for a travel permit to cross into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, after it was opened by Egyptian authorities for humanitarian cases, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

Ramallah: The Gaza Health Ministry has accused the Israeli occupation of deliberately causing the death of dozens of patients by denying them the right to exit the Gaza Strip for treatment.

This inaction or denial of requests by the Israelis has resulted in prolonged suffering and even death for patients whose lives might have been saved had they been able to exit Gaza to seek the necessary treatment, the ministry said.

“This is an inhumane robbery of health. Only patients who cannot be provided with proper treatment in the Gaza Strip are transferred to other hospitals,” said Dr. Ashraf Al Qedrah, a spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry.

Al Qedrah noted that in 2016, more than 60 per cent of the cancer patients from Gaza have been denied the right to exit Gaza to be admitted to hospitals in the 1948 areas.

“The Health Ministry has submitted more than 26,000 completed requests for patients to exit the Gaza Strip for treatment abroad and the occupation authorities approved only 16,000 requests (61.5 per cent of the total requests) and rejected the others,” he said.

He said the latest Gazan victim was Mohammad Habib, 8, who died of a serious illness after the Israeli occupation refused to grant one of his relatives a permit to accompany him to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel. Last month, another young man from Gaza, Ahmad Hassan Jameel, 17, also died after the occupation authorities denied him a permit to travel abroad for treatment.

The Hamas affiliated website Al Majd has warned about the Israeli strategy of taking advantage of Gazans’ basic needs and using the patients and their families as a bargaining tool in return for allowing to cross the Erez border posts.

The Hamas Interior Ministry has also reported that many Palestinians who are in desperate need to provide their loved ones with proper treatment abroad have been forced to work for the Israelis. Following the arrest of dozens of collaborators with Israel by the Gaza Interior Ministry, the occupation authorities were in need of more collaborators in the Gaza Strip and they found a way to take advantage of the Gazans humanitarian needs.

Last week the occupation authorities refused to allow nitrous oxide, commonly used for anaesthesia, to be brought into the Gaza Strip until the World Health Organisation got directly involved.

In 2007 the Islamist movement of Hamas violently took over the tiny coastal strip following a brief civil war with its rival, the Fatah movement. Since then, Israel has imposed a strict maritime and land blockade on the strip which caused devastating economic conditions. Last year, the United Nations warned that Gaza may become uninhabitable by 2020 if there is no change in the economic situation.

(Source / 19.02.2017)

New infographic shows how restrictions of movement put Palestinian lives at risk

The latest infographic from Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI) explores how Israeli Government’s restrictions on freedom of movement are putting the lives of Palestinian patients at risk.

Click here to see the infographic

Many patients from the West Bank or Gaza need to travel to East Jerusalem for specialist medical care unavailable elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), such as cardiac surgery and specialist cancer care.

However, barriers to freedom of movement are preventing and delaying patients from accessing urgent treatment in East Jerusalem: both due to delays to ambulances entering the city, and a restrictive system of permits.

Checkpoint delays

As visualised here, those requiring urgent treatment at hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem are systematically forced to transfer from Palestinian ambulances to Israeli-registered vehicles at checkpoints. This ‘back-to-back’ process is enforced even in critical and emergency cases, and can cause life-threatening delays.

Data collected by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) between October-December 2015 showed that this process took an average of 24 minutes during emergency cases.

The permit regime

Palestinians without a Jerusalem I.D. must obtain an Israeli-issued permit to travel to hospital in East Jerusalem.

Our infographic shows how Palestinians living in Gaza experience the harshest restrictions, with the number of permits issued by Israel to patients needing to exit Gaza for medical care falling to a record low in 2016. Last year one third of patients were either denied or delayed permits to travel, interrupting care and endangering recovery.

With the Rafah crossing with Egypt closed for most of the year, exit via the Erez crossing into Israel is vital for patients. Under international law, Israel is responsible for ensuring access to adequate medical treatment for the occupied population under its control.

MAP and PHRI are jointly calling for the Government of Israel to remove obstacles to movement and an end to the occupation of Palestinian territory and closure of Gaza.

June will mark 10 years of blockade and closure in Gaza and 50 years since Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory began. This infographic is the first in a series from MAP this year highlighting the effects of prolonged occupation on the health and dignity of Palestinians.

View the infographic here

(Source / 17.02.2017)

New MAP briefing exposes barriers to Palestinian healthcare

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI) have today co-launched the first in a series of briefings exploring how Israel’s occupation affects the health and dignity of Palestinians.

This first volume exposes how barriers to freedom of movement imposed by Israel are preventing some Palestinian patients from being able to access centres of vital care. These barriers include the bureaucratic control of movement imposed by Israel’s permit regime, and physical barriers of the network of checkpoints which control access into and out of Gaza, the west Bank and East Jerusalem.

With many medical specialties such as radiotherapy and heart surgery only available in Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem, it is vital that patients and their companions are able to travel there unimpeded. This is especially true for patients in Gaza, where the health sector has been severely damaged by almost a decade of blockade, separation from the West Bank, and repeated conflict.

In 2016, the rate of approvals for permits to leave Gaza for treatment outside the territory dropped to its lowest level in seven years, with a third of patients delayed or denied by the Israeli authorities over the year.

“The very idea that a fence, a wall, a security guard, a bureaucrat could stand between you and such life-saving services should fill us all with a shared sense of dread.”

Robert Piper, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities

In January this year, a 17-year-old boy from Gaza died after Israeli authorities refused him a permit to travel out of Gaza for treatment for a congenital heart defect. The same month also saw protests in Gaza from female cancer patients who had been refused permission to travel for vital treatment.

Free movement of patients and medical personnel is vital to the effectiveness of care. Ambulance and permit delays can lead to missed appointments and interrupted treatments, endangering the health and lives of patients.

International law stipulates that, as the Occupying Power, Israel has a duty to ensure adequate access to medical treatment for the population under its control. It is vital that governments like the UK place pressure on the Government of Israel to remove obstacles to the right to movement which undermine healthcare.

To read the briefing paper, click here.

(Source / 10.02.2017)

Health ministry: Israel prevents entry of anesthetic gas into Gaza


The Ministry of Health in Gaza said on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation authorities deliberately prevented passage of nitrous gas, which is used as an anesthetic, for the third time in one month.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman of  the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said that during January 2017, the Israeli occupation forces prevented entry of nitrous gas into the Gaza Strip three times in a row infringing Gazan patients’ rights of receiving decent treatment, and this comes in conjunction with an Israeli escalation against the Strip.

According to al-Quds Press news agency, al-Qidra stated that the hospitals of the Gaza Strip need more than 4000 kg of nitrous gas with a rate of over than 200 surgeries a day, which requires a continuous availability of this gas especially after the latest Israeli escalation on the Gaza Strip.

Al-Qidra pointed out that the quantities entering Gaza are restricted according to specific policies set by Israel to ensure that the Ministry of Health doesn’t have additional supplies.

He warned that the lack of nitrous gas will affect the health status of patients who have to undergo surgeries on a daily basis, calling at the same time on the international institutions to immediately act to allow entry of the anesthetic gas to the hospitals of Gaza.

Israel has been imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip for ten years ago and closed all borders and crossings linking Gaza with the outside world while opening them partially and in exceptional cases for the passage of goods and people.

(Source / 08.02.2017)

Gaza’s cancer patients: ‘We are dying slowly’

The Gaza Strip does not have adequate resources for medical treatment, but Israel prevents patients from leaving.

Around 1,500 people are diagnosed with cancer in Gaza every year

Gaza City – “I’m like a bird in a cage,” Hind Shaheen told Al Jazeera as she lay in bed at Gaza City’s Al-Rantisi hospital, surrounded by family members. “Outside of my cage I can see water and food, but I can’t reach it. This is my condition right now.”

Shahin, who suffers from breast cancer, says that her condition has been deteriorating ever since she was denied exit from Gaza for treatment.

The Gaza Strip does not have adequate resources to provide her with appropriate treatment, yet she cannot leave, as Israeli authorities at the Erez border crossing, known as Beit Hanoon to Palestinians, rejected her permit three times in a row without explanation.

The condition of Hind Shahin, a breast cancer patient, has been deteriorating ever since she was denied exit from Gaza for treatment

Gaza has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since 2007. The Erez checkpoint is the main exit for two million residents of Gaza, connecting them to medical care in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

“I can’t go to Egypt either. The crossing closes for three, four months – so I’ll be stuck there,” Shaheen said.

Her struggle is familiar to thousands of patients in Gaza, where around 1,500 people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Chemotherapy drugs are not always available, nor are radiotherapy, molecular therapy, PET scans or isotope scans.

READ MORE: Siege limits options for Gaza’s chronically ill

Gisha, the Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, says that patients in Gaza have increasingly been blocked from leaving due to “security” precautions. Others are interrogated at the crossing or forced to wait lengthy periods of time for a response.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approval rates for exit permits from Gaza dropped as low as 44 percent in October 2016, compared with 82 percent in 2014 and 93 percent in 2012.

“[The patients] ask for permission again and again, but the response from Israeli authorities is always that it’s under [assessment],” Awad Aeshan, a radiation oncologist at Al-Shifa hospital, told Al Jazeera. “They continue to assess for one year, two years until the patient dies. So this is a massacre of our cancer patients. They have placed a siege on the Gaza Strip and they don’t permit our cancer patients to leave for treatment.”

My husband and children cried a lot when I was diagnosed. I think about the future now and how to secure my children before I die.

Seham Tatari, leukaemia patient

An Israeli spokesperson from the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit disputed this claim, citing an increase in the number of patients crossing Erez in recent years, from 22,380 in 2013 to 30,768 in 2016. However, the numbers do not take into account Gaza’s steep population growth.

Breast cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, yet five-year survival rates in Gaza are as low as 30 percent, compared with around 85 percent in England and 86 percent in Israel.

Radiotherapy is vital for breast conservation, but as it is unavailable in Gaza, a high number of women undergo a full mastectomy and lymph node clearance, which would normally be unnecessary.

When Philippa Whitford, a Scottish breast cancer surgeon, asked a patient support group in Gaza’s Al-Bureij refugee camp how many had undergone mastectomy, all of them raised their hands. “Radio isotopes used in bone scans or for guided biopsy of axillary lymph nodes are forbidden entry into Gaza despite having no potentially dangerous application,” Whitford wrote in a column.

Patients are also often diagnosed with cancer at later stages due to limited services; Gaza only has two functioning mammograms.

Aeshan says that he sees between 50 and 60 patients a day, and only half of them can receive their chemotherapy treatment in Gaza. Around two-thirds of cancer patients require radiotherapy treatment, and hundreds are referred for outside treatment in occupied East Jerusalem every month.

Due to the decade-long blockade, surgical skills in Gaza have been frozen in time. According to a 2010 report by the WHO, there are no specialist surgeons to treat oesophageal, pancreatic or lung cancer.

Seham Tatari, 52, who is battling chronic lymphoid leukaemia, had been leaving Gaza every 20 days for chemotherapy treatment in the occupied West Bank. She had just four more sessions to go when she received a text message last October regarding her permit. It read: “Seham Tatari – Banned.”

“I’ve been going every 20 days for the past three years. Why am I banned now? It doesn’t make any sense,” Tatari told a cancer patients’ support group in Gaza City.

OPINION: Apparently no one cares about Gaza

Chemotherapy treatment is a painful process and if it is interrupted, the patient has to start over from the beginning.

“My husband and children cried a lot when I was diagnosed. I think about the future now and how to secure my children before I die. We are dying slowly in Gaza,” Tatari said. “My cancer was controllable [before they banned me from leaving], but now it can spread. My whole body is in pain because I haven’t been taking any medications; they’re not available all the time in Gaza.”

Before the start of the blockade in 2007, Gaza was the centre for medications, said Talha Ahmad, a chemotherapy pharmacist. He now describes his workplace at the hospital as a war zone.

Talha Ahmad, a chemotherapy pharmacist, points to a shortage of medications in Gaza

“I’m fighting everywhere, every day to have the medications required for my patients,” Ahmad told Al Jazeera.

“We have a big shortage in basic medications. I’m not talking about new generations of chemotherapy medications; I’m talking about old medications, used 20 years ago in the world. We have a big shortage of them here.”

In August 2016, 17 percent of cancer drugs were at zero stock – less than one month’s supply on shelves – according to Medical Aid for Palestinians.

“I try to tell [my patients], ‘Your medication is not available,’ as gently as possible. It’s as if you’re telling them, ‘I will kill you slowly because your medication is not available,'” Ahmad said.

“I try to make adaptations to at least give them hope. I say, ‘It’s OK, it will be here next week. This delay will not harm you.’ But I believe these patients have the right to have their medication [immediately].”

INTERACTIVE: Gaza – A life under siege

There have also been reports of extortion of patients as they attempt to reach hospitals a short distance away for life-saving treatment.

Last July, 19-year-old Yousef Younis received a phone call from the Israeli security service after applying for a permit to treat his leukaemia in Jerusalem. They told him that he could cross if he collaborated with them. He refused, and consequently, his permit was denied. His health quickly deteriorated, and he died the next month.

Israel as an occupying force is obligated under international humanitarian law to ensure the Palestinian population’s access to medical treatment and to maintain its medical facilities, hospitals and services in the occupied territories.

Gisha found that whenever they challenged a denied permit legally or through media work, Israeli authorities would reverse their decision and grant a travel permit. “This calls into question the arbitrary and slack decision-making process for assigning a security block in the first place,” Gisha noted.

Back at Al-Rantisi Hospital, Muhammad Qahman, 67, waits for his appointment. Three days after his brother died from lung cancer, Qahman was diagnosed with the same illness. The cancer has now spread to his brain.

The last time he went through Erez, Qahman was in a bad state and waited at the crossing for two hours with an oxygen mask on, his family said. They are worried about his deteriorating condition and the expensive medications available only in Israel.

“He won’t recover from the disease itself; we’re just delaying the consequences,” Qahman’s son told Al Jazeera.

(Source / 06.02.2017)

Ministry of Health reveals statistics about cancer in Palestine


Palestinian Ministry of Health official statistics revealed that the rate of cancer patients in Palestine reached 83.8 per one 100 thousand persons, 83.9 cases per 100 thousand persons in Gaza and 83.8 cases per 100 thousand persons in the West Bank.

The Ministry of Health said in a statistical report, on World Cancer Day Feb 4, that 52.5% of the new cancer cases are females and 47.4% are males.

In 2015, 3,927 new cancer cases were reported in Palestine, 2,400 of which were in the West Bank and 1,527 were in the Gaza Strip, the report added.

The Ministry pointed out that 34.4% of the cancer cases occurred in the age group of above than 65 years, which equals 2.9% of the population. However, 59.8% of the cancer cases occurred in the age group of 15-64 and 6.8% of the cancer cases occurred in the age group of less than 15.

Breast cancer ranks first

Breast cancer ranks first since it constitutes 17.8% of all cancer cases, according to Dr. Jawad al-Bitar, the director of the ministry’s Health Information Center.

“Breast cancer also came first for cancers that affect women in Palestine, which reached 33.7% with a rate of 33.1 new cases per 100 thousand females in Palestine annually,” he added.

Colon Cancer comes second regarding cancer cases with the rate of 9.4%. Lung cancer comes third with the rate of 8.7%, but it its ranked first for cancers that affect males, which reached 14.3% and 12.3% new cases per 100 thousand males in Palestine annually, he pointed out.

The data of the National Cancer Registry in Palestine, a section of the Health Information Center, shows that the five cancers, breasts, lung, colon, leukemia and brain, constitute a rate of 58.6% of the cancer cases leading to death among Palestinians, more than half cancer deaths in Palestine.
Leukemia is the most common among children with a rate of 30.2% followed by brain cancer with a rate of 18.5%, he continued.

Al-Bitar pointed out that in the past five years cancer was the second leading cause of death in Palestine after cardiovascular diseases.

Cancer caused 13.8% of deaths in Palestine

The Ministry of Health said that 13.8% of Palestinians die because of cancer, 13.2% of which are in Gaza and 14.1% are in the West Bank.

In 2015, 1,746 Palestinians died because of cancer, 656 were in Gaza and 1,090 were in the West Bank.

Cancer deaths among Palestinians reached 42 deaths per 100 thousand persons, 52.9% were males and 47.1% were females, the report explained.

Meanwhile, lung cancer ranks first in deaths caused by cancer in Palestine, 17.5%, followed by colon cancer, 12.4%. Breast cancer reached a rate of 11.2% of deaths caused by cancer in Palestine followed by brain cancer, 11.2%, and leukemia, 8.6%, the Ministry of Health said.

For males who died because of cancer, lung cancer was the main cause with a rate of 27%, 27.5% of which are in Gaza and 26.7% are in the West Bank, followed by Colon cancer with a rate of 11.2%. For females, however, breast cancer ranks first regarding deaths caused by cancer with a rate of 23.2%, 22.8% in Gaza and 23.3% in the West Bank, followed by colon cancer with a rate of 13.7%, the Ministry added.

Number one leading cause of death worldwide

The fourth of February marks World Cancer Day in which the Palestinian Ministry of health joins the International Union against Cancer and the World Health Organization to promote ways to ease the burden of cancer as efforts are focused on the importance of prevention of cancer, detection of early signs of cancer, and improving the life quality of patients.

The campaign in 2017 aims at taking a positive attitude through the publication of hopeful messages about fighting cancer with a motto of “We can. I can,” which means we can fight cancer by making the right choices.

Cancer is now ranked as the first leading cause of death worldwide in which most cases occur due to high body mass and obesity rate, lack of eating fruits and vegetables, lack of physical activity, and smoking, as well as other factors.

Efforts to develop current services

According to the report, the Ministry of Health is exerting enormous efforts to develop its services and capabilities in this area by spending millions of dollars of its budget to treat cancer patients.

In this regard, Health Minister, Jawad Awad, said that he is working tirelessly to establish Martyr Khaled Hassan Medical Center for Cancer and bone marrow to resettle many therapeutic services in order to ease and end the suffering of many Palestinian families.

The Ministry of Health carried out, with partners from health providers, a national strategy for prevention and control of cancer, which seeks to reduce cancer cases among Palestinian citizens through preventive measures and programs for the early detection in addition to providing appropriate care for patients, he added.

Also, the Ministry of Health has adopted a free national survey of breast cancer among Palestinian women. For this purpose, the Ministry provided in all provinces mammography devices, he continued.

Cancer patients are being diagnosed and treated in the hospitals of the Ministry of Health particularly at Al-Hussein Hospital in Beit Jala, which is considered the main center in the West Bank. The hospital’s section for treating children tumors named “Huda al-Masri”, was designed according to international specifications, he added.

(Source / 05.02.2017)

Saudi Medical Clinics Provide Treatment for 12,000 Syrians in Jordan


Saudi Clinics receive Syrian Refugees at Zaatari Camp in Jordan

Amman- Saudi specialist clinics treated around 12,796 Syrian patients in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan in October.

Medical Director of the Saudi specialist clinics Hamid Mufalani said that the clinics have witnessed a great number of patients, which was proven by medical statistics for the month of October.

Mufalani explained that 3,906 patients visited the children’s clinic, 317 patients visited the cardiovascular clinic, 704 patients visited women health clinic, 1,341 Syrian refugees received treatment in general medicine clinic while surgery clinic dealt with 176 cases and the bone clinic received 688 cases.

For his part, Regional Director of the Saudi National Campaign Dr. Badr bin Abdulrahman Al-Samhan said that the Saudi specialist clinics provide health care according to the medical and psychological needs of the Syrian refugees.

(Source / 05.11.2016)

PalMed: Israeli force-feeding law incitement to murder

BRUSSELS, (PIC)– The Assembly of Palestinian doctors in Europe (PalMed) warned on Wednesday of the serious upshots of an Israeli bill to force-feed Palestinian hunger-striking detainees, saying the law amounts to a legitimization of murder. PalMed Chairman, Dr. Mondher Rajab, slammed the Israeli force-feeding law, dubbing it a barefaced incitement to the murder of Palestinian hunger-strikers in Israeli jails and a call to torture. PalMed charged that the force-feeding law flagrantly violates the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Malta 1991 which states, “forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable.” The Assembly also said that feeding induced by threats or coercion is inhumane and that it violates the 1975 World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo which explicitly states that force-feeding is a crime and a form of torture. The statement also pointed to the serious health complications of this cruel measure on the prisoners’ health; as it is very painful and it may lead to death as what actually happened with a number of Palestinian prisoners. In earlier statements, the Assembly called on international health institutions, and human rights organizations, including the United Nations, the Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders, to immediately condemn the Israeli decision and pressure the occupation government to cancel it, improve the prisoners’ detention conditions, and allow doctors’ visits to check on the prisoners’ health status. The Supreme Court of Israel on Sunday ruled to allow for the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike after a panel of judges rejected a petition which called to cancel the force-feeding bill. The Knesset voted the “force-feed” bill into law in July 2015, with 46 MKs voting in favor and 40 voting against.  The ruling upheld a 2015 law to allow force-feeding as constitutional, despite a range of objections by human rights organizations. Hunger strikes have become a high profile means by which Palestinians can peacefully resist their capture and arbitrary detainment by Israeli authorities.   There are currently three Palestinians – detained without charge – in Israeli prisons who are on hunger strike one of whom, Al-Qadi, 25, slipped into a coma last week.

(Source / 14.09.2016)

Egyptian MP: Women must undergo FGM to control men’s desires


Egypt recently passed a bill to toughen the punishment for anyone found practicing FGM. [File photo]

Women must undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) to help curb men’s “sexual weakness”, an Egyptian MP said.

Elhamy Agina added that the procedure would reduce women’s “sexual appetites”.

Illegal in Egypt since 2008, Agina said banning FGM would only work if Egypt had “strong men” who were able to control their desires.

“We are a population whose men suffer from sexual weakness, which is evident because Egypt is among the biggest consumers of sexual stimulants that only the weak will consume.”

“If we stop [female genital mutilation], we will need strong men and we don’t have men of that sort.”

Nine out of 10 Egyptian women between the ages 15 to 49 have undergone FGM, according to the 2015 Egyptians Health Issues Survey.

Egypt recently passed a bill to toughen the punishment for anyone found practicing FGM.

(Source / 10.09.2016)