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Gaza health catastrophe likely due to lack of essential drugs

February 17, 2014 at 11:16 pm

A catastrophic situation is likely in Gaza due to a lack of more than 200 essential drugs, a senior official in Gaza’s Ministry of Health has warned. Ashraf Al-Qudra, the Director of Public Relations and Information at the ministry said that the level of supplies in Gaza’s hospitals and the government’s central warehouse is “dangerously low”.

In a press statement released on 7 May, Mr. Al-Qudra explained that 202 items on the Essential Drugs List are unavailable in Gaza; the drugs are vital for the treatment of chronic diseases. Another 120 items on the list will run out within the next two or three months, he told the media. “This is the bitter reality for doctors and their patients across the Gaza Strip,” said Al-Qudra, “and it is all due to the ongoing Israeli siege.”

Mr. Al-Qudra renewed his call for immediate intervention by Arab and international organisations to mitigate the consequences of the shortage, which he called a “major threat” to Palestinians. “We have crossed the red line,” he added, “to the extent that this is an obvious violation of Palestinians’ right to life.”