Sending Surgical Equipment to Gaza Hospitals

May 25, 2010 ANERA
Gaza, Health, Hospital Infrastructure, In-Kind Medical and Relief

Dr. Ziyad Abed el Jawad surgical team handles about 70 surgeries a month in Gaza. That means an ever-increasing need for proper-sized, quality sutures. But that essential element was lacking until ANERA’s delivery of an AmeriCares shipment of sutures. The new supply has changed the life of the clinic’s patients, especially women.

With this donation, doctors are now able to use the appropriate sutures for the appropriate tissues. “Sutures vary between natural and artificial,” explained Dr. Abed el Jawad. “We use the artificial sutures to coat the internal tissues. Vicryl antibacterial and mono sutures are very important during the surgical operations.” He added that the sutures are absorbed in seven days and don’t leave scars.

Now surgeons can use the appropriate sutures for the tissue they are healing.

Without the donation, doctors were sometimes forced to use any type of sutures for healing any type of wound. “This misuse was due to the unavailability of the different types of sutures in Gaza and it increased the risk for patients of complications and wound irritation,” said ANERA Warehouse Manager Mostafa Ghosein .

“In one case, a woman arrived in labor with her second child and we found sutures from her first delivery. If this woman has any internal inflammation, a diagnosis does not identify the cause as inappropriate sutures. She could have lost the ability to bear more children because of that,” said Dr. Abed el Jawad. “Thanks to ANERA’s help we have the proper, high-quality sutures, something we have been lacking for more than two years.”

Previously, surgeons were forced to use any type of suture, due to lack of availability.

Dr. Abed el Jawad also expressed his concerns about the deterioration of health services and the diminished supply of proper medical products at local hospitals since Gaza’s borders were closed more than two years ago. “Sadly, we have received sutures with no company name or expiration date so we don’t know its source,” he said. “”We had a lot of patients with infections after the operation because the suture stayed for 30 days and the body couldn’t absorb it.”

According to Dr. Abed el Jawad, the cost of importing sutures is prohibitive. One carton of sutures cost 60 shekels ($16) outside Gaza. “The donated sutures from AmeriCares are a life saver,” he said as he proudly pointed to the shelf filled with the new supplies.

When the hospital opened in 2005, its main goal was to help poor and needy patients. The facility provides ultrasound services, surgery, maternity, pediatric and internal medicine clinics.

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