Health in Gaza is caught between the anvil of the blockade and the hammer of Corona Virus

The shortage of medicines that the Palestinian Ministry of Health suffers from in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the Israeli blockade that has continued for 14 years, threatens the lives of Palestinian patients, adding to the catastrophic situation the discovery of local infections with the "Corona" virus in the Gaza Strip.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that the health care system in the Gaza Strip will not be able to deal with more than a few dozen Corona patients.

She added in a statement, in conjunction with the announcement of the discovery of local cases in the sector, that such treatment requires medical and laboratory equipment, special supplies, and drugs that are not available in hospitals and health centers in sufficient quantities.

The statement said that Gaza residents "are living under severe pressure and feel tension, and their fears about the Corona virus have greatly exacerbated, and they are now under closure."

The same thing had been warned by the "International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza", that the spread of the new "Corona" virus in the Gaza Strip would lead to a "real disaster", due to the deterioration of the health situation, the lack of facilities, supplies and medicines, and due to overpopulation (more than Two million people live in the Strip.)

And it called for the need for urgent intervention to lift the Israeli blockade, and to save the health sector in it.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip, its warehouses in the Gaza Strip suffer from 45% of medicines, 31% of medical supplies, 68% of laboratory and blood bank supplies, in addition to a great shortage of sterilizers and protective supplies.

According to the Ministry's report issued at the end of June 2020, the number of zero drug items reached 232 medicinal items, while the number of zero items from the medical mission list reached 261.

She indicated that the number of medicines that can be sufficiently stored until the end of September 2020 is 50 medicinal items, while the number of medical tasks that can be sufficient until the end of next September reached 48 items.

The report of the Ministry of Health indicated that the lack of medicines worsened the health conditions in cancer and blood diseases services, with a deficit rate of 68 per cent, in emergency services, operations and critical care, with a deficit rate of 16 per cent, and in cardiac catheterization and open heart services. 66%, and 11% in orthopedic services.

According to the report, the new Corona virus pandemic has added an additional burden on the health system in the Gaza Strip.

In the context of dealing with the virus, the Ministry indicated that it had established more than 30 quarantine centers, and equipped one thousand and 500 quarantine rooms, to quarantine all comers from outside the Gaza Strip, in order to prevent the spread of the virus within the community in the Gaza Strip, and these centers and some hospitals were established. And turn them into sorting centers.

She noted that the health system in the Gaza Strip is still facing many challenges, foremost among which is the shortage of equipment and supplies to confront the Corona virus.

She explained that the health sector in Gaza contains about 110 intensive care beds for adults, most of which are occupied, and there are only 93 ventilators in the intensive care units, serving more than two million people, which are hardly commensurate with normal illnesses.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip confirmed that it had not received any allocations of medicines, laboratory examination materials, intensive care beds and ventilators, among the international aid received by the Palestinian Authority to confront the Corona pandemic, which exceeded $ 100 million.

As part of their measures aimed at combating the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the government authorities in the Gaza Strip announced, last Monday, the imposition of a comprehensive curfew, on all areas of the Strip, after discovering four cases from one family, in the "Maghazi" refugee camp, who were not people present. In quarantine centers.

The number of people infected with the virus in the Gaza Strip reached 192 cases, including 3 deaths, and 72 recovered cases.

The hospitals and health centers in the Gaza Strip suffer from an acute shortage of specialized medicines, medical consumables, laboratory tests, diagnostic and therapeutic devices, in light of the suspension or prevention of the Israeli occupation from traveling to complete treatment.

The Israeli occupation imposes a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip for 14 years, closing all border crossings and border crossings that connect Gaza to the outside world via Egypt or the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, with the exception of opening them partially for the entry of some goods and travelers.

The blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip affected the health situation in the Strip, which led to a decline in the health system in light of the shortage of medicine, and the serious electricity and fuel crisis on the health sector.


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