Health ministry in Gaza warns of severe shortage in medicines, medical supplies

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-03 21:16:14|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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GAZA, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Health in Gaza warned on Sunday of the deteriorating health situation caused by the significant decrease in medicines and medical supplies in the Gaza Strip.

"The ministry suffers from 50 percent shortage in medicines and medical supplies," director of hospitals at the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Abdul Latif al-Haj, told reporters in Gaza.

He urged the international community, mainly Arab countries, to swiftly send medical convey to Gaza to save the situation that is caused by ongoing anti-Israel protests that left dozens dead and thousands injured in Gaza.

Up to 120 Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli fire since the rallies known as the "Great March of Return" started on March 30.

The rallies also caused the injury of some 14,000, of whom 300 suffer from serious wounds.

The protests, which peak every Friday, demand the return of Palestinians refugees, who were forced to leave their cities during the Arab-Israeli war in 1948, as well as lifting the blockade Israel has been imposing on Gaza since 2007.

Al-Haj added that the majority of the wounds were in the lower limbs, stressing that the Israeli forces used explosive bullets.

In May, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees called on Tuesday the international community to save the deteriorating health sector in Gaza.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East chief Pierre Krahenbuhl told reporters in Gaza that the territory is facing a major human and health care disaster due to the high numbers of injured Palestinians by Israeli fire during the border rallies.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Thursday that it will send two surgical teams and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip to assist residents affected by the recent violence.

ICRC said the teams, which stay in Gaza for six months, will help Gaza's health system respond to longer-term needs after thousands of residents were recently wounded in violence.