Friday, June 21, 2024

People with chronic diseases face “death” in Gaza


“They are forgotten and neglected, treatments are not available, and soon death overtakes them.” Palestinian doctors and officials who spoke to the Al-Hurrah website are sounding the alarm about patients suffering from chronic diseases in Gaza. The near collapse of the healthcare system on the Strip.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization warned of the crisis facing people with chronic diseases in Gaza, with more than a thousand patients requiring dialysis to survive.

He noted that more than 2,000 patients have cancer, 45,000 have heart disease and more than 60,000 have diabetes.

People with chronic illnesses are “sufferers”

Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, expresses the “severe crisis faced by patients suffering from chronic diseases in light of the collapse of the medical system in the Gaza Strip.”

There are more than 130 premature babies in incubators, 160 patients on ventilators and 1,100 patients with kidney failure, he told Al-Hurrah website.

He points out that there are 9,000 cancer patients and more than 200 cesarean sections are performed daily, but today they “don’t get medical services”.

“They need to receive urgent and basic health services in light of the lack of medicines, sanitary products and other assistance such as fuel, water and food,” Al-Khudra stresses.

Disaster is on the horizon

Palestinian Red Cross media officer Raed al-Nims confirms that the patients most affected by the “collapse of the medical system in Gaza” are those with chronic illnesses.

Most of them are “at risk” due to a lack of basic resources, lack of treatments and medicines, and the inability of patients to leave Gaza to receive some treatment in the West Bank and Israel since the start of the war. He explained to Al-Hurrah website.

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Agence France-Presse reported that before October 7, about 100 patients had to leave the Gaza Strip every day due to a lack of specialized health services.

In light of the Israeli bombardment and the lack of “water, medicine or electricity,” “disaster is on the horizon,” especially those with chronic illnesses “who are most at risk if the health system collapses completely.”

On the other hand, the Israeli military spokesman unit previously told the “Al-Hurra” website, “Hamas terror organization operates inside civilian facilities (such as hospitals) in flagrant violation of international law. Residents of Gaza act as human shields, exposing the citizens of the area.” Gaza is in danger.”

He added: “The army is working to evacuate civilians from the north of the Gaza Strip to its south, which is defined as an area that is safe and has humanitarian infrastructure.”

“Not harming civilians during raids in the Gaza Strip is in the common interest of the citizens of Gaza and Israel,” he stressed.

“in the air”

Speaking on the Al-Hurrah website, Dr. Fadal Naeem warns against “not paying attention to patients with diabetes, cancer, kidney failure, asthma. , blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.”

Since the start of the war, people with chronic diseases have been “forgotten and neglected,” but they suffer daily as a result of a lack of medicine and treatment and the closure of primary care clinics, which puts them “at risk,” he said.

He points out that the “lack of treatments and lack of regular health follow-up” can ultimately lead to serious complications among people with chronic diseases.

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In his speech, he addressed cancer patients being treated at the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital. After it shut down, some patients were transferred to different hospitals in the Gaza Strip in an attempt to “follow up on their condition.”

But their treatment and follow-up of their health is “not optimally done”, especially since most cancer patients require treatment abroad, in the West Bank, the Palestinian interior or Egypt, and close the crossings. , according to Naeem, they miss out on “the chance to get treatment for a terminal illness”.

On the brink of death

In turn, Dr. Youssef al-Akkad, director of the Gaza European Hospital, emphasizes the need for cancer patients for special treatments, starting with “chemotherapy sessions, then radiotherapy and some hormonal drugs.”

Radiotherapy has been unavailable in Gaza for years, forcing hospitals to send patients outside the Strip for treatment, which is currently not happening, he explains to the Al-Hurrah website.

As for chemotherapy, 50 percent of these treatments are “not available” in the Gaza Strip, and in light of the current war and the closure of crossings, the situation has “become very difficult,” according to al-Akkad.

He insists that these patients need “routine health care, regular follow-up and regular treatment,” but in light of the current war, it is impossible to “care for them optimally.”

Al-Akkad warns of the complications that chronic diseases in general can cause, especially cancer patients, whose fate is “death” if they fail to receive timely treatment.

‘Insufficient’ aid

On Wednesday, 61 trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered Gaza, according to Israeli officials.

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As of November 1, 272 aid trucks had entered the Gaza Strip, according to the Associated Press.

Despite the slight increase in supplies, the number of aid trucks entering Gaza averaged 14 trucks per day, compared with 400 trucks entering Gaza’s residents daily during normal times, according to Reuters.

Therefore, Dr. Nabil Al-Najjar, former dean of the Palestine College of Nursing, insists that this aid is “not enough” to help patients with chronic diseases.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, dialysis and cancer patients need many treatments, some of which are available in Gaza, but “UNRWA clinics that support the Ministry of Health are currently closed and doctors are not allowed to trade available treatments. existence within them,” according to his conversation with the Al-Hurrah website.

Although aid is coming to Gaza, there are no “treatments for those suffering from chronic diseases,” so there is a real crisis facing these patients, Al-Najjar stresses.

He points out that “treatments have decreased significantly,” making the fate of those suffering from chronic diseases “instant death.”

Israeli officials said the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, most of them civilians, including children and women.

According to the latest figures from the Hamas Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, Israel’s intense bombardment of Gaza killed 9,061 people, including 3,760 children, 2,326 women, and wounded 32,000.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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