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Gaza health ministry: One third of basic medicines no longer available

February 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Spokesperson of the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza Ashraf Al-Qedra has said that the health sector is facing a crisis as basic medicines are starting to run out.

“The severe Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has been imposed for seven years, targets human medical services,” he said. “The closure of the Rafah Crossing has multiplied the deterioration of our situation.”

Al-Qedra said that the Rafah Crossing is the minor, or what “could be called alternative”, passage because delegations that bring medicines and food usually pass through it.

According to Al-Qedra, the closure of the Rafah Crossing has raised many problems, including gradual decreases in the ministry’s stockpile of medicines. He explained that previous shortages of medicines due to the blockade were compensated via the Rafah Crossing.

According to the spokesperson, 154 kinds of basic medicines, from a list of 460, have now run out. These include medicines for serious illnesses such as chronic diseases, blood diseases, cancers, painkillers and antipyretics.