Sunday, December 9, 2007
Sick patients requiring urgent medical care among those penned in hell-hole
From Ed O’Loughlin In the Gaza Strip
"FOR THREE weeks, seven-month-old Mohammed Abu Amra has been lying in Gaza's main paediatric hospital, suffering from immune deficiency and suspected cystic fibrosis.
His doctors do not have the drug they need to relieve his symptoms, which include fever and distressed breathing, racking his thin ribs at almost twice the healthy rate of breaths per minute.
Nor does any hospital in the sealed-off Gaza Strip have the equipment or expertise needed to clinically diagnose Mohammed's condition....
"In the past it took one day to transfer an urgent patient to Israel. Now I need maybe five, maybe 10, if it happens at all. The Israelis say it's because of security, but it means urgent cases can die. In the past we could have transferred him also to Egypt, but now that border is closed because of the siege."....
In this the child resembles the Gaza Strip itself, a real-life dystopia cut off from the outside world where, under the pressure of half a dozen or so slowly tightening screws, life is coming apart at every seam. Mahmoud Daher, Gaza director of the UN-affiliated World Health Organisation (WHO), says that the health service is where the effects of Palestinian infighting and Israel's blockade are showing most dramatically......"