PLC: Gaza Strip faces health catastrophe due to shortage in medicine

Palestinian Information Center








June 3, 2011

GAZA, (PIC)— MP Khamis Al-Najjar, the chairman of the health committee in the Palestinian parliament, has strongly condemned the Israeli occupation for preventing the entry of medicine to the besieged Gaza Strip that, he said, faces health catastrophe.

In a press conference the committee held in Gaza over the matter, Najjar asserted that the Gaza Strip is indeed facing a humanitarian crises of the “first degree” and health catastrophe is looming in it if the badly needed medicine isn’t made available immediately.

“The patients in the Gaza Strip are dying due to the sharp shortage in medicine in local hospitals and clinics,” Najjar warned as he spoke at the conference.

He also explained the mechanism of delivery of medicine into the Strip, saying that since the PA was created and started work in Gaza Strip and the West Bank, medicine and medical tools used to be floated as tenders in systematic manner where Gaza used to get directly 40% of the medicine and the West Bank gets 60%.

He added that the entire operation was done in the headquarters of the ministry of health in Gaza, but when the ministry headquarters was transferred to Ramallah it requested donor countries not to transfer any medicine to Gaza directly as a result of the political rift that occurred in the Palestinian arena in 2007.

Moreover, Najjar explained that by the end of 2009 there were 104 kinds of medicine not available in the Strip, and jumped to 190 kinds by the end of the year 2010. He added that Gaza received 84 kinds of medicine at the end of January this year leaving Gaza with 138 kinds of medicine that have zero asset.

Furthermore, Najjar pointed out that the medicine that was received by Gaza was good for one to three months only that raised the kinds of medicine with zero balance to 178 kinds, and medical tools with zero balance jumped to 190 kinds.

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