Gaza hospitals in dire need of medicine

The Hamas government says Gazan patients are in dire need of help as hospitals and clinics in the Israeli-blockaded coastal enclave are running short of medicine supplies.

Speaking at a press conference, Hamas officials announced that hospitals in Gaza need at least 178 types of medicine for intensive care units (ICU), maternity wards, podiatric and ophthalmic surgeries, a Press TV correspondent reported.

“The acute shortage of medicinal supplies in Gaza’s hospitals is serious, with tragic consequences,” said Hamas lawmaker Khamis Najjar.

In addition to the much needed medicines, hospitals need fuel for their power generators. Due to the four-year long crippling Israeli siege on the impoverished coastal sliver, Gaza hospitals have been using power generators with high fuel consumption.

Meanwhile, a large number of expensive medicines for treatment of chronic patients, vaccines and blood plasma, which require refrigeration, get spoiled because of the regular power cuts.

Health officials also warn that patients on life support, premature babies, and those in need of kidney dialysis could lose their lives if power cuts continue.

Hospitals have also been running short of medical supplies for at least four years and sometimes they cannot even offer basic services to the patients with minor injuries or illnesses.

According to local health officials, the only way out of the current crisis is for the international community to help lift the Israeli siege and resume the supply of medicine into to the area.

Israel laid an economic siege on the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after Hamas took control of the coastal enclave.

The blockade has had a devastating impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

Some 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and the right to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.

( / 03.06.2011)

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