Despite the ceasefire, Gaza’s health service is on the brink of collapse
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Gaza’s health system has suffered from chronic issues for years. The region’s 14-year blockade has destroyed our ability to get much-needed medical equipment and supplies. Over 42% of essential medications in Gaza are consistently depleted. There is also a critical shortage of doctors, nurses, and midwives. Those with severe illnesses that need continuing treatment, such as women with breast cancer, must pray for their exit permits to be approved so they can receive treatment in East Jerusalem. About a third never are. Now we do not know what people with cancer, kidney diseases, and other severe chronic illnesses will do. They are at the most dire risk.
Covid-19 added an additional burden. Before last week’s bombardment, doctors were busy dealing with the rising number of Covid cases in Gaza. The total number of cases stands at 102,323, with 2,980 active cases. ICUs and inpatient wards in hospitals have been simply unable to absorb the influx of Covid-19 patients. Humanitarian organisations such as ours, MedGlobal, have had to fill in the gaps, supporting the health system by providing critically needed personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and PCR machines to allow for rapid Covid testing.
We worry that one more deadly effect of the airstrikes will be an increase in Covid-19 cases, as patients who were recovering were released to free up hospital beds for people injured by airstrikes. Many residential buildings were bombed out, sending hundreds of families to relatives’ homes to find refuge. In many instances, social distancing measures have become impossible. The number of Covid-19 tests offered daily decreased dramatically during the bombardment, from nearly 3,000 a day to only 256. Earlier this week, the al-Remal healthcare centre, the largest primary health clinic in Gaza, which houses the lab responsible for Covid-19 tests, was severely damaged during the airstrikes. All testing and Covid-19 services had to be halted. We worry this will result in a further public health disaster.
Including that on the al-Remal healthcare centre, the Israeli airstrikes damaged six hospitals and 11 primary healthcare centres, in addition to wounding dozens of health workers and killing two of our best doctors: Dr Ayman Abu al-Ouf, head of internal medicine at Al-Shifa Hospital, and Dr Mooein Ahmad al-Aloul, one of the only neurologists in Gaza. Now, as we mourn, the remaining hospitals must pick up the pieces from having responded to the needs of casualties gravely injured from the bombardment. We are in dire need of medication, nutrition supplements, personal protective equipment and supplies such as blood bags, anaesthesia and oxygen tanks. We also still need medical assistance such as ventilators to properly confront our Covid-19 crisis.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
May 22, 2021 at 7:37 PM #424944Passionate ProgressiveParticipant
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and likely other foreign assistance aggravates the crisis.
There was a theory I heard back in 2009 – the ‘mow the grass’ theory that Israel plans these incursions just to keep the Palestinian population from keeping ahead of the destruction.
Heard a political science discussion (MIT sponsored) about this crisis yesterday….like climate change no new ideas and/or solutions. The establishment hacks that created the crisis are expected to craft its solution…And I don’t consider establishment memes (that the US is the solution/honest broker, that Israel has a right to defend itself, etc., etc.) as solutions.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....Martin Luther King '63
May 22, 2021 at 9:54 PM #4249773fingerbrownParticipant
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Murderous war criminals is too nice of a description for the US and Israeli governments. I need to come up with something better.
All governments lie to their citizen's, but only Americans believe theirs.
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