Gaza dialysis services collapsing amid Israeli siege: Health ministry

The Gaza Strip's Health Ministry has issued a stern warning about the imminent collapse of dialysis services at hospitals due to Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory.

According to the Palestinian Information Center, Alaa Helles, director of the ministry’s hospital pharmacy department, sounded the alarm on Saturday, warning that patients needing dialysis are in extreme danger due to pending depletion of necessary medical supplements and dialysis equipment.

At present, the besieged territory’s hospitals serve 1,100 patients with kidney failure, including 38 children, with 13,000 dialysis sessions every month, he said.

“The central warehouses are completely empty of medical consumables for dialysis services, including blood filters, cannulas, and blood tubes,” Helles continued, adding that the current supply would only be sufficient to provide dialysis services for just 10 more days.

The official called on the relevant authorities to “take urgent action to provide medical consumables for the needs of kidney failure patients, which means continuing service to them and preserving their lives.”

Israel has been imposing an all-out land, aerial, and naval siege against Gaza since 2007, controlling Gazans’ access to their most basic necessities through the blockade.

Earlier in July, the ministry said 50 percent of cancer patients do not receive treatment due to Israel’s blockade.

Speaking in a press conference, the ministry’s spokesman, Ashraf al-Qidra, warned of the “dangerous consequences” of the severe shortage of medicines needed for cancer patients, calling on the international community “to move to save the lives of cancer patients and to provide the treatment and services that they deserve.”

A leading international humanitarian organization also announced in September that Israel had deprived hundreds of Palestinian children of life-saving healthcare in the Gaza Strip during the first half of 2023.

The UK-based Save the Children said nearly 400 children in Gaza, at least two children per day, were denied permits to travel to the West Bank and receive critical treatment in the first six months of the year.

In the report, entitled, ‘I Can’t Run, Play, or Get Treatment’, the organization explained that “nearly 100 children’s applications to Israeli authorities were denied or left unanswered in the month of May alone,” during the Israeli aggression against Gaza.

During the same month, at least seven children were among 33 Palestinians killed in Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip between May 9 and 13.

Gaza’s healthcare system has been devastated by 16 years of Israeli blockade and recurrent military attacks, and is currently facing immense challenges with the entry of vital medical supplies, equipment and medications severely restricted by the regime.

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