A Russian delegation headed by Shamil Sultanov began a three-day visit to the Gaza Strip on 25 December. The purpose is to examine the health sector in the blockaded territory and relay the needs of its inhabitants to the Russian people. The visitors began their tour with a visit to the Shifa Hospital where they were received by its director, Dr Midhat Abbas.
Abbas informed the delegation of the multiple problems which patients encounter when they attempt to seek treatment in Israel. Very often, they are pressured to serve as informers in order to enter the country, or return to Gaza without treatment.
The visitors were also updated on the many difficulties caused by the daily electricity blackouts, which last for eight to twelve hours. Since the start of the Israeli blockade, Gaza's health sector has suffered from a chronic shortage of medicine which has resulted in the unavailability of over 150 categories of essential medicine.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad