Gaza’s state of health … not so good


Gallo/Getty

Date Published:February 8th, 2010

Source: Middle East Blog, by Ayman Mohyeldin

We all know what its like when we go to the doctor’s office for that routine check up once a year … and undoubtedly there is that moment of anxiousness when the doctor looks you in the face to level his criticism on what you can do better next year. 

So you leave the office, go to the nearest gym, sign up for that cardio class and then off to the supermarket to get that new low fat salad dressing. It’s a new year and you are gonna take your health seriously!

A universal human right for all…

That’s the way it should be … for you and for the people of Gaza. But Gaza’s health report card just came back … and it ain’t looking good for the 1.7 million people living under a stifling siege.

Even worse, there is little the people here can do about it.

According to the United Nations, which examined the state of health one year on from Israel’s brutal war on Gaza, a collapsed economy and staggering unemployment will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the physical and mental health of the people here. 

Here are some of the highlights, or should I say the sad points, of Gaza’s Health:

● Infant mortality rates, which were steadily declining in recent years have stalled.

● 15 of Gaza’s 27 hospitals were damaged or destroyed in Israel’s war and have yet to be rebuilt or repaired. 

● Since 2000, very few medical professionals have been able to leave for training to update their clinical skills or learn about new medical technologies – which in return limits their ability to provide adequate health care. 

● Many patients are in need of specialised treatments not available in Gaza and referred abroad for care. Sadly, their applications to travel for care get delayed or denied by the Israeli authorities and some have died while waiting for referrals.

But some times its not the press releases or the statements that sum up the difficult situation in Gaza, or even the peoples own stories. Here is a animated clip from the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem that captures what is so wrong with the Israeli siege on Gaza. 

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