Finding Medicine can be Hard Work in Gaza

May 27, 2010 ANERA
Gaza, Health, In-Kind Medical and Relief
One-year-old Palestinian child receives a bit of relief at the clinic where his medicine is donated free of charge. One-year-old Mohra receives a bit of relief at the clinic where his medicine is donated free of charge.

Families in Gaza have to contend with a whole range of difficult and disheartening living conditions everyday and relief comes in ever-smaller doses, but very little can compare to the relief of finding the right medicine free of charge and knowing that your child might start feeling better. ANERA’s recent shipment to Gaza of donated medicine from CMMB (Catholic Medical Mission Board) is helping to provide such relief.

“I heard about this clinic from neighbors. It offers many services and provides medication free of charge,” said the mother of one-year-old Mohra. She brought her boy to the clinic because he had a fever and sore throat. She was worried about him because he couldn’t sleep or enjoy food.

Mohra’s father used to work in Israel as a tailor but lost his job after the closing of Gaza’s border. “What does life mean when you see your husband unable to provide for his family? Medication is one of those things that’s scarce nowadays. And, if it is available at all in Gaza, it’s ususally very expensive,” said Mohra’s mother.

A sick child can be stressful for any parent, but parents in Gaza face an added stress: finding medicine.

This small pharmacy is one place where parents like Mohra’s might find the medicine they need. Their shelves are stocked with Tylenol for children, aspirin, cough syrup, analgesics and gloves – all of which have been made available in Gaza through a generous shipment from CMMB.

ANERA routinely ships and distributes in the Middle East millions of dollars worth of donated medicines from many generous organizations like CMMB. Getting shipments into and around Gaza poses special problems, given the border closings and diminishing fuel supplies.

“This CMMB shipment was at the border for two and a half months. We finally received it in the middle of the night and delivered it immediately with very little fuel, driving through the dark streets as electricity was out for many hours,” said Mostafa Ghusain, ANERA’s warehouse manager. But, in the end, every effort is worthwhile.

“The medication we receive from ANERA is very effective and of high quality,” says Dr. Nahed Abu Nour, a clinic doctor. “The latest shipment contained Tylenol, which really came in handy at the end of winter. We usually depend on ANERA for about 40% of our total medication. However, this month we depended on ANERA for 70%. It is wonderful to receive good, reliable medication. It helps a lot of people.”

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