Kidney patients in Gaza suffer from lack of supplies

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Patients receive treatment at the kidney dialysis ward of al-Shifaa hospital in Gaza City, November 8, 2021. XINHUA PHOTO

GAZA: For long hours, Ibrahim al-Akhras – a Palestinian patient with a kidney from Gaza City – has been waiting for his turn at Al-Shifa Hospital to begin his usual procedure, which normally lasts at least four hours.

The 65-year-old said he should be given treatment to get rid of toxins and fluids that have built up in his body due to poor kidney failure three times a week. However, in reality, he only gets it once due to the lack of medical supplies in the gang.

“Unfortunately, the medical sector has deteriorated due to the lack of medical supplies while the number of patients has increased over time,” the father of eight told Xinhua in a broken voice.

The lack of treatment sessions has a direct impact on the health of patients, as they lack the hormone “erythropoietin” which is responsible for the industrial formation of red blood cells in the body.

Al-Akhras has not been given a hormone for three months and he now fears he will suffer from anemia as a result.

He calls on Arab and international actors to provide the Gaza Strip with medical supplies and medicines, necessary for the continuity of human life.

Al-Akhras is among 900 kidney failure patients in Gaza while the number of kidney transplant patients stands at 333, according to the Palestinian health ministry in the strip.

Usually, a kidney patient is connected to the dialysis machine by a small plastic tube that is attached to their hand or other part of the body as the wheel of the device begins to spin to start the treatment phase, which can take four hours.

Another patient who experiences the same problem is Doaa Dallol from Gaza City. She could barely wake up from a long sleep caused by severe anemia which afflicted her due to hormone deficiency.

Her mother, Amna Mohammed, told Xinhua that Doaa should have had a kidney transplant as the next step.

However, she could not receive external blood units as an alternative to the hormone as this would prevent her from performing the medical operation, leaving her in a state of fatigue and exhaustion.

Doctors and specialists have said the increase in the number of people with kidney failure is due to high blood pressure, diabetes, urinary tract infections and stone formation.

According to the World Health Organization, 10 percent of people around the world suffer from chronic kidney disease and rank 18th on the list of diseases that cause death. While in Palestine, it is the ninth cause.

The Hamas-led health ministry in Gaza has warned of the worsening suffering of kidney patients and the dangerous repercussions for them of running out of the hormone given the lack of financial capacity to purchase it.

The ministry’s hospital pharmacy department director, Alaa Helles, told Xinhua that most of the natural resources to provide treatment come either from direct purchases or from subsidies through international institutions.

Due to the scarcity of grants and the inability to purchase the hormone, the strip is in urgent need of approximately 10,000 doses of the hormone per month, including 8,000 doses for hemodialysis patients and 2,000 doses for hemodialysis patients. patients with kidney failure, Alaa said.


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