By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

With the systematic Israeli military attack on all health facilities and the tightening of the siege, kidney patients are particularly vulnerable.

Even before the ongoing genocidal war on Gaza, Israel’s hermetic siege, which is now in its seventeenth year, had severely impacted many aspects of the lives of Palestinians living in the Strip. 

The healthcare sector was one of the most affected. 

Medical staff and thousands of patients in Gaza had to deal with numerous challenges: lack of medications, medical equipment, and electric generators to keep machines working, not to mention the fuel shortage for emergency generators during power cuts. 

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Even clean water was already a major challenge, and was not easily accessible, even in the Strip’s medical facilities.  

Kidney patients, in particular, struggled with the lack of syringes filled with blood-thinning medication, which are required three times a week for dialysis sessions.

The war dramatically worsened an already difficult situation. 

With the systematic Israeli military attack on all health facilities and the tightening of the siege, kidney patients are particularly vulnerable. Many have already died. 

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Gaza’s Government Media Office recently appealed to the World Health Organization, the Red Cross, and other organizations to provide urgent medical assistance to the kidney dialysis department at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the city of Deir al-Balah. It is the only relatively functioning facility in the whole Strip. 

“Before the Israeli war on Gaza, the kidney dialysis department at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital provided service to 140 patients, while during the war it now provides service to 480 patients, all of whom suffer from kidney failure.”

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with Ibrahim al-Oweisi whose mother passed away  after being deprived of life-saving kidney dialysis.

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‘My Mother Loved Life’ 

“My mother was nearly 60 years old. She loved life, she was constantly smiling. She loved everyone, and everyone loved her,” Ibrahim told The Palestine Chronicle.

“She was diagnosed with kidney disease several years ago, and the doctors prescribed kidney dialysis three times a week. She used to undergo that until the Israeli war on Gaza broke out, depriving her of treatment, and she died before our eyes,” Ibrahim added, in tears.

Due to the war, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital remained the only facility offering dialysis. Yet it only has 22 dialysis machines, hardly enough to accommodate the great, and growing demand. 

Moreover, a large number of Palestinians are not able to cross from northern Gaza to the central region in the Strip where the dialysis center is located. For many, this means imminent death. 

As a result all kidney patients in Gaza City and northern Gaza found themselves in the same, terrible situation. No access, thus no lifesaving treatment. 

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 “In the last months before her death, my mother could not move, and her condition worsened,” Ibrahim said. 

“Every day, I saw kidney patients dying at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. Later, we moved to Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip and the overcrowding was even worse,” he continued. 

“My mother passed away before our eyes while asking for medicine and treatment which we were not able to provide. She died in the seventh month of the war after experiencing all kinds of pain and suffering,” he said. 

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle in the Gaza Strip. His email is [email protected]

The post No Treatment, No Dialysis – Gaza’s Kidney Patients are Dying appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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