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Severe shortage in medicines, medical equipment in Gaza

June 24, 2014 9:32 A.M. (Updated: June 25, 2014 10:55 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza says a serious crisis is expected to affect the health sector in the coastal enclave as many types of medicines and medical equipment have run out and other types are running out.

Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement Tuesday that 122 types of basic medicines completely ran out and 91 types would run out in a few weeks. Furthermore, 471 types of medical equipment and disposables have run out completely and some 85 types will run out in a few weeks, added al-Qidra.

He highlighted that Gaza fuel crisis has affected hospitals and medical centers. During daily power cuts, Gaza hospitals use diesel-run generators to produce electricity.

Gaza public hospitals, says al-Qidra, consume 8,000 liters of diesel a day and they now have only 20 percent of the average reserve. In addition, ambulances and other vehicles of the ministry consume about 22,000 liters of diesel and 12,000 liters of gasoline a month. Under these conditions, he added that fuel reserves will run out in a few days.

As a result, the ministry of health decided to cancel surgical operations which are not urgent and to reduce about 50 percent of ambulance travel.

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