Medicines for Gaza stuck at Israeli crossing

Medicines for Gaza stuck at Israeli crossing 

Gaza’s medicine shortage has reached “alarming proportions,” international aid group Oxfam said Friday, quoting medical officials saying that drugs were held up at Israel’s crossing into Gaza.

Shifa Hospital in Gaza City has only five vials left to dissolve blood clots, the director of Gaza’s Central Drug Store told Oxfam, and kidney transplant patients are at risk of rejected organs due to drug shortages, a release from the international organization said.

“Can you imagine after going through all the hardships to find a compatible kidney, having it rejected because drugs did not enter Gaza?” Dr Mohammed Zamili said, noting that deliveries from the Ministry of Health in Ramallah were not meeting the huge shortage of medicines.

“There are also some trucks held up at the Kerem Shalom crossing and we don’t know exactly what’s in them,” he added.

Oxfam said that drug suppliers in the West Bank have held back medical supplies after the Ramallah government defaulted on payments, and the West Bank was also facing a shortage of 150 drugs.

In Gaza “a total of 178 types of medications and 123 types of medical supplies have already run out and others have reached their expiration date,” according to an Oxfam report last week.

A delivery of 20 truckloads of medicines from the Ramallah ministry in the past week was “nothing next to the enormous shortage we’re facing,” Zamili said.

On Saturday, the Ramallah Health Minister Fathi Abu Moghli accused the Hamas health ministry in Gaza of trying “to politicize the health sector” by blaming the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority for the shortages.

The Gaza ministry threatened to close hospitals and clinics “to disturb the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah,” Abu Moghli said.

But the medical supply chief urged attention to those in need. “Patients are the ones suffering from all this,” Zamili said.

( / 24.06.2011)

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