Health crisis grows in Gaza due to medicine shortages


Cancer patients in Gaza are unable to receive treatment due to severe shortages in chemotherapy drugs, part of a growing humanitarian crisis in the besieged enclave. The spokesman of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Eşref al-Kudra, said in a press statement that the drugs used for the treatment of cancer patients in Rantisi hospital have run out, thereby the treatment in the hospital was stopped, as reported by Anadolu Agency (AA). The Rantisi hospital is the only health institution where cancer patients are treated in Gaza.Kudra reported that the drug called Neupogen, which strengthens the immune system, as well as chemotherapy drugs, have completely run out. Stressing that the ongoing crisis should be ended immediately in Gaza, Kudra noted that the health of hundreds of patients are in danger.

Israel controls all access to and from the Gaza Strip apart from the Palestinian enclave's crossing with Egypt. Hamas is in power in the strip, and has fought three wars with Israel since 2008. Under an Israeli blockade for more than 10 years, Gaza lacks infrastructure and key medical equipment. Many patients seek to travel elsewhere for treatment.

Israel's long-lasting blockade of the Gaza Strip has created chronic shortages in Palestinian health facilities. The humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is deteriorating further as hospitals struggle to cope with high casualties since protests on the Gaza-Israel border began on March 30. Gaza's health system of 13 public hospitals and 14 clinics run by NGOs had buckled under persistent blockade-linked shortages of medicines and surgical supplies.

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