Palestine: Abbas Must Help Leukemia and Rheumatoid Patients

Press Release – Palestinian Centre For Human Rights

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned over the lives of the Leukemia and Rheumatoid patients in the Gaza Strip, because they have not received the necessary medications for more than 11 months.As Their Lives Are at Stake, PCHR Calls Upon President Mahmoud Abbas to Intervene to Save the Lives of Leukemia and Rheumatoid Patients

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned over the lives of the Leukemia and Rheumatoid patients in the Gaza Strip, because they have not received the necessary medications for more than 11 months. PCHR is concerned that these patients will suffer severe complications that may lead to death if they do not receive the necessary medications as soon as possible. Moreover, PCHR calls upon President Mahmoud Abbas to immediately intervene in order to save these patients by instructing the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to provide their required medications promptly and regularly.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, the suffering of Leukemia patients, which is a serious cancerous disease that affects blood cells, started in December 2012, as the Glivec 400 mg tab has completely ran out from the Blood Department Pharmacy at Shifa Hospital. As a result, the patients have not been able to take their medicine so far. Doctors in charge said the abovementioned medicine is the only treatment for Leukemia patients, and not taking the medicine would cause health complications and put their lives at risk. It should be noted that this medicine can be obtained only through the Ministry of Health in Ramallah and cannot be bought from medical stores or pharmacies in the Gaza Strip because it is not available there.

In the context of PCHR’s follow-up of Leukemia patients’ conditions, PCHR’s Legal Aid Unit addressed the Ministry of Health in Ramallah on 16 April 2013 and demanded the Minister of Health to instruct the competent departments to immediately supply the Gaza Strip with the patients’ medicine. On 30 April 2013, the Pharmacy Department at the Ministry of Health in Ramallah replied and stated that the medicine was available in the central medical warehouses in Ramallah and coordination was in process to send the medicine to the Gaza Strip. PCHR contacted the Blood Department Pharmacy at Shifa hospital, which is responsible for distributing the medicine to patients. It was found out that the quantity that was received by the pharmacy since last December had been 810 tablets of Glivec 400 mg tab; this quantity can be only used to treat 27 patients for one month only. However, the monthly needs of the Gaza Strip patients amount to about 1,600 tablets of that medicine.

PCHR has followed up the health conditions of Rheumatoid patients in the Gaza Strip who have been suffering due to the lack of their medicine for over 2 years. According to the Ministry of Health and doctors, over 80 patients suffering from Rheumatoid do not receive the necessary medicine – Enebrel 25 mg – because it is not available. According to the doctors in charge, if the patients do not receive this medicine for long periods of time, their health conditions will deteriorate and they will suffer serious complications in the liver and kidneys.

On 29 October 2013, PCHR organized a workshop titled “Patients Struggling Death in Gaza: Conditions of Rheumatoid and Leukemia patients.” The participants recommended that it was important to conjugate all efforts of all parties in charge of the health sector to supply Rheumatoid and Leukemia patients with the medicines they need. In addition, they called upon the two Ministries of Health in Ramallah and Gaza to increase their budgets in the field of health expenditures and to update their database relevant to Rheumatoid and Leukemia patients in the Gaza Strip in order to precisely identify their medical needs.

PCHR reiterates its demand for all parties in charge of the health sector to provide the medicines needed for Rheumatoid and Leukemia patients, and is deeply concerned over the lives of the patients. PCHR also calls upon President Abbas to immediately intervene and instruct the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to supply the Gaza Strip with these medicines immediately and regularly.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

No comments yet.

Write a comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.