Gaza’s chronically ill patients are out of medicine, doctors, and hope

Gaza’s chronically ill patients are out of medicine, doctors, and hope

Gazans in need of treatment and medicine are dying, after Israel’s bombardment has decimated the healthcare industry, and doctors are fleeing for their lives. Four reports below:

Prevented from Traveling for Treatment – Iconic Palestinian Artist Dies in Gaza

By Palestine Chronicle Staff, reposted from Palestine Chronicle, February 25, 2024

Iconic Palestinian artist Fathi Ghaben died on Sunday in Gaza, at the age of 77, after Israeli authorities prevented him from leaving the besieged Strip to receive treatment abroad, the Palestinian Ministry of Culture announced.

“Ghaben’s departure constitutes a loss to Palestinian art,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry explained that “Ghaben, who was suffering from severe chest and lung problems, needed to travel abroad to complete his treatment, due to the lack of medicines and oxygen in Gaza, but the occupation authorities did not allow him to leave the Strip.”

Fathi Ghaben was born in the village of Harbia in the northern Gaza Strip in 1947. His mother carried him during the Nakba and was forcibly displaced to Gaza, where he lived his life in the Jabaliya camp.

Ghaben, who also worked as an advisor in the Ministry of Culture, won many international awards during his artistic career.

“Palestine was always present in all its details in Ghaben’s works,” Palestinian Minister of Culture Atef Abu Seif said, adding: “He immortalized the life of the Palestinian village that the Nakba wanted to erase, remembering the village of Harbia, in which he was born.”

The cultural scene in the Gaza Strip lost many creative people in various fields due to the ongoing Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, while dozens of cultural centers, museums and libraries were destroyed.

With hospitals destroyed, there is little help for Palestinian cancer patients

by Walaa Sabah, reposted from Middle East Eye, February 25, 2024

Intisar Abu Saqer, who suffers from pancreatic cancer, is one of 10,000 cancer patients waiting to get out of the territory and get treatment abroad

Israel’s targeting of Gaza’s hospitals has left its population of around 2.5 million Palestinians without adequate access to healthcare.

Tens of thousands have been wounded in Israeli attacks but those with long-term and terminal illnesses are also left with nowhere to go for treatment.

Cancer patients and others who cannot leave have been left to their fate as the besieged territory’s health facilities shut down.

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, which served as the most important facility for cancer patients in Gaza, halted operations on 30 October because of extensive damage caused by air strikes.

Dr Subhi Skaik, the hospital’s director general, announced the closure on Facebook, citing infrastructure damage.

Intisar Abu Saqer, 49, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago after doctors discovered a tumor on her pancreas. Around six months after her diagnosis, Saqer underwent a Whipple procedure that is often used to deal with pancreatic tumors.

For a period thereafter, she remained in good health. Following chemotherapy, Intisar adhered to a routine CT screening every three months, to make sure the cancer did not return.

The family dared to feel a sense of optimism until the ongoing conflict began…[more]

Death by dialysis: the slow death of Gaza’s kidney patients

by Walaa Sabah, reposted from The New Arab, February 23, 2024

Israeli assault has crippled Gaza’s healthcare system, leaving 1,100 kidney patients at risk. Meanwhile, patients are dying in their beds from no dialysis.

More than four months into Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza, the healthcare system has completely collapsed, leading to “sickening scenes” across Gaza’s hospitals, according to World Health Organization’s Tedros Ghebreyesus.

At the frontline of this aggression are Gaza’s kidney failure patients. The British Medical Journal reports that over 1,100 patients are now at risk due to severe fuel shortages of hospital fuel.

Amidst the backdrop of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, patients with kidney failure are pleading for life-saving dialysis treatment.

One such patient was Abed El Rahman Abu Dalfa, who wrote on Facebook before his death: “It’s my right to have dialysis for four hours, three days a week, regardless of the circumstance. Kidney patients like me are facing a slow death, literally.”

After October 7th, Abed El Rahman and his family were displaced on five different occasions, ending up in Rafah.

“At Abu Yousuf Al-Najjar hospital — the only dialysis centre in Rafah — hundreds of displaced kidney patients are waiting for their dialysis,” his sister-in-law Noor told The New Arab. “When Abed was able to be seen, doctors would try to schedule additional sessions for him per week due to the dyspnea (shortness of breath) or excess water retention. As his condition worsened, Abed tried to get more sessions at the hospital but he typically received the bare minimum.”

“Since his diagnosis, Abed El Rahman’s life took a turn for the worse. However, during the war, his life became a living nightmare. He suffered a lot.”…[more]

A Gaza doctor’s fear: Displacement, detention or death

by Miriam Berger, reposted from the Washington Post, February 24, 2024

Even after four months of the most grueling and gruesome work of his life, the anesthesiologist wanted to stay at his post at Nasser Hospital last month when the Israeli tanks closed in.

But doctors, he fretted, face one of three fates in wartime Gaza: displacement, detention or death.

He’d seen Israeli forces disappear doctors during raids on the enclave’s besieged and collapsing hospitals. He feared being accused of supporting Hamas, being made to strip and sit blindfolded, seeing photos of the humiliation shared online. He’d heard about the abuse Palestinians endured in Israel’s secretive detention sites for Gazans.

But the anesthesiologist had six children and a large extended family in Rafah that relied on him. So it was with a heavy heart, he said, that he fled the hospital on Jan. 26 and joined the Gaza Strip’s growing cadre of displaced medical workers.

More than 100 medical professionals are in Israeli detention, their exact whereabouts and condition unknown, according to the health ministry. The rest are most likely displaced.

Now few of Gaza’s hospitals and medical facilities remain even partially open.

Israel says doctors and hospitals provide cover for Hamas militants. The Israel Defense Forces told The Post it was “well documented that Hamas uses hospitals and medical centers for its terror activities,” but has not provided evidence.

Israel has denied The Post and other international news organizations independent access to Gaza’s hospitals…[more]

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