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Lack of medication threatens hundreds of Gaza patients

Palestinian health officials issue a press statement warning that hundreds of kidney patients could die within days if Israel doesn't allow medication into the Gaza Strip

Saleh Naami in Gaza, Wednesday 12 Jan 2011
Gaza
(Photo: AP)
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More than 200 kidney patients in Gaza could die in three days due to lack of appropriate medication, a Palestinian health official said.

In a press statement, the director of the artificial kidney department at Sheffa hospital in Gaza warned that there will be a human catastrophe if Israeli does not allow kidney dialysis liquids into Gaza before this coming Friday.

“We are trying to find alternatives from other liquids; the quantity we have will only last for 3 days” he added.

On Sunday the Ministry of Health in Gaza warned that dozens of chronically ill patients, especially those with cancer and kidney problems, could die soon, if they do not receive medicine.

The ministry said its medical supplies were depleted by 40 per cent, adding that the coastal sliver is facing a lack of medication for leukemia, blood problems, epilepsy and maternal health problems.

The ministry also expressed concerns that the stock of insulin and kidney dialysis fluid in Gaza's hospitals and health centres could run out within days.

The crippling land, aerial and naval blockade imposed by Israel on the strip has also restricted the movement of people out of Gaza.

A coalition of 22 international NGOs and human rights groups said in late November that the system for issuing the patients exit permits were arbitrary, unpredictable and time consuming.

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