United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRW), is now on the Gaza Strip with 21 health centers, focused on the care of women and children, along with maintaining illnesses for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. It has been six months since the Israeli attacks took place, and with a promise of $3.5 billion being donated to reconstruct the damages, only 26.8 percent has been released. The Ministry of Health in Gaza have recently reported Gaza Strip is in desperate need of more health care, due to hundreds of patients residing in the besieged coastal region.
Press TV was informed by an official that the health crisis has risen because there is a lack of transportation of health services being delivered, and medical supplies being transported to the strip. Israel has blocked the region on three sides, and it has caused limited importing and exporting within the Gaza Strip. Having limited routes for imports has resulted in a humanitarian crisis due to the lack of medicines and medical supplies. The Israel blockage has caused lots of suffering amongst the Palestinians in the surrounded territory, and it increased the medical needs of the Gaza Strip’s citizens.
Gaza Strip’s needed health care is deteriorating the territory and its people. The Minister of Health has reported it is lacking 334 types of medical disposables, and 118 types of medicines. Director General of Pharmacy, Ashraf Abu Mahady, told the press 80 percent of medical procedures are open heart surgeries and the pharmacy has a deficiency of cardiac catheterization medical disposables. He also stated the lack of primary care drugs, immunological drugs, and oncology drugs, is the main cause of the decline amongst the people because they can no longer maintain their health. Mahady also warned if the lack of medical supplies and services, continue to intensify, Gaza Strip will have more of a devastating crisis than its ever had. He also asked if Red Cross, and World of Health (WOH), could break through or lift the blockade for the sake of the people, so they can receive their required medical needs.
Israel only allows a small amount of imports and exports into the territory because the government believes anything they receive can be used for military purposes. Clashes between armed Palestinians and the Israeli’s army, which escalated back in 2007, caused the need for treatments, medical supplies, and equipment to be placed on a halt and postponed, due to the control Israel have on the people of the territory lives. As time progressed they only allowed a select group of patients to receive care from surrounding borders such as Egypt, Jordan, and West Bank. Israel hold remains on the territory although they have disengaged with interacting with them. Due to Israel strict control of who leaves for medical care and stays, many people have died throughout the years because of the lack of supplies, and many more are dying since nothing have changed the hold of what comes in, and goes out of the Gaza Strip.
45 percent of Gaza Strip’s population is under the age of 18. The lack of medical supplies and medicines is a main source of what is hurting the people within the territory as well as malnutrition. Not having enough clean water and vegetables is going to make sickness within children rise, and since there is very low-income circulating amongst the people many of the young girls are becoming pregnant and adding more to the deteriorating region. According to UNRW, collective punishment is on the rise, and that is known to be the most massive child abuse in the world, due to crowding, and the spread of infectious diseases happening faster each day. Although UNRW has 21 health center, and have a supply of vaccination coverage for the children, it is still devastating for the people because children will be without parents, due to the needed health care Gaza Strip needs for its adults.
By Krystle Mitchell
Photo By Cpl. Gal Ashuach, IDF Spokesperson’s Unit – Creativecommons Flickr License