- Posted July 27, 2014 by
Gaza shortages of medical supplies during Israeli military onslaught
As Israel continues its raids on Gaza with airstrikes and carrying out bombings, Gaza is facing high levels of shortages of medicines, medical disposables and hospital fuel supplies, and rising healthcare debt according to The World Health Organization (WHO). WHO also reported that a hospital, three clinics and a water desalinization center in a refugee camp have been damaged.
The casualties on Palestinians are overwhelming for overstretched hospitals. Palestinian medics reported on Friday that the Israel’s fourth day raids on Gaza have reached a total number of 100 Palestinians deaths including women and children, with over 500 people being injured.
Regarding the shortage of medicine and medical supplies, Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesman, said Gaza is missing about 30 percent of essential drugs, while 15 percent of the remainder is expected to last only for a few days. If continued, it could worsen the emergency needs at the hospitals. He said that this is the most critical medical services situation Gaza has ever faced. The ministry is running considerably low on hospital equipment such as gloves, urine catheters and other medical equipment.
Dr. Ayman al-Sahbani explained that the situation has completely changed. In 2012, when they were sending critical patients day by day to Egyptian hospitals, aid was coming from Arabia, foreign doctors and other solidarity groups. But now that's been discontinued.
Additionally, the persistent fuel crisis in Gaza, leading to frequent power cuts, also puts patients at risk, mainly those who rely on incubators and dialysis machines, and are admitted to emergency departments.
According to Dr. Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, the response and preparedness of the health sector is at very low level, and health services could collapse. Given this situation, they are making an urgent appeal for $40 million to support the Ministry of Health in providing essential supplies for health care sufficient for six months.
To solve this conflict between Gaza and Israel, Obama says the United States is ready to stop the Gaza ceasefire as death toll is increasingly high and as an Israeli military operation against rocket-firing militants in Gaza is still continuing. On Tuesday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon knowing that a further escalation would put the entire region at risk, urged all sides to the Gaza conflict to cease their fire at once. Added to that, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, urged Israel to ensure the respect of principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions to avoid harm to civilians.
Though the ministry has appealed to the Palestinian consensus government, this last still has not rescued the health care system.