I’m not a doctor nor a nurse, but I’m very proud that two of my sons have chosen to enter the healthcare profession. I actually avoid hospitals if possible. I’ve been blessed with very good health; I live in a city with clean water from the tap; and there are no military incursions blowing up schools and hospitals in my neighborhood.
Not so in Gaza.
The 22 days of shelling and bombardment in Gaza (Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Dec.’08 – Jan.’09) destroyed some hospitals and badly damaged others. The Goldstone Report details the destruction here. And the blockade on the Gaza Strip since June 2007 by Israel and Egypt has severely impacted the medical supplies and medicines available for the nearly 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza.
I read weekly news reports about the healthcare crisis, and haven’t seen any good news that the situation is improving. This comment from 2011 is still accurate as far as I can tell.
Human rights groups in Gaza are urgently requesting that international aid groups and donor groups to intervene and deliver urgent medical aid to Palestinian hospitals in Gaza. Palestinian officials say that Gaza’s medicinal stock is nearly empty and is in crisis. This affects first aid care, in addition to all other levels of medical procedures.
Adham Abu Salmia, Gaza’s Ambulance and Emergency spokesman, says the medical crisis is acute and near catastrophic levels for patients within the health sector of Gaza. If shipment of medicines are not replenished to Gaza stocks in the coming weeks, he says it will worsen.
Serendipitously, this week two friends of mine, unknown to each other, recommended that I raise funds online to purchase medical supplies to carry with me when I go to Gaza in September. I’ve been seeking donations from local hospitals, but some additional funds will help me purchase supplies identified by health professionals in Gaza.
I launched the online donation site today, and I included a picture recently sent to me by some young people in Gaza. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my Facebook friends see this and find it a worthwhile project. Please share my fundraising request with your friends too. Check it out here.
And thank you (shukran!) if you can help me fund these badly needed medical supplies.