Special Medicines for Elderly Palestinian Patients

August 27, 2010 ANERA
Health, In-Kind Medical and Relief, West Bank
ANERA in-kind manager checks new supply of donated medicines from AmeriCares for Gaza clinics. ANERA's Gaza in-kind manager checks new supply of donated medicines from AmeriCares.

In a quiet narrow street in the Old City of Hebron, 80-year-old Issa Musa walks through the humble blue door of the Hebron health care clinic to get his monthly course of Zantac. His old body and dim sight do not deter him from walking with steady steps down the hallway.

When asked about how Ranitidine has helped him, Issa repeatedly praises the Lord – “Alhamdullilah, Alhamdullilah, Allah Kareem,” he says.

Dr. Wael Al-Rajabi, Issa’s physician, explains that Zantac reduces the amount of acid that the stomach produces, which helps patients who suffer from ulcers and acid reflux disease.

“The clinic’s elderly patients,” he says, “especially suffer from gastric problems because they do not take in enough fluids and so solid foods cause lesions and erosions of the mucosa, which protects the stomach lining, leading to stomach upsets and ulcers. The lesions help bacteria grow causing bleeding thus leading to hazardous health problems.”

These medicines are especially important for the elderly who often suffer from gastric problems.

The Zantac supplied to the medical clinic is used to treat hundreds of elderly Palestinian patients coming from Hebron and dozens of neighboring villages. ANERA recently delivered the medicine, donated by AmeriCares.

As more patients come into Dr. Al-Rajabi’s office, they share their feelings. “I suffer from stomach pains, but when I take Zantac the pain goes away,” 72-year-old Mohammad Al-Sidr explains as he takes a seat near Issa Musa. Another patient joins in and says she’s been suffering from heartburn for eight years and now she feels a lot better with the medicine. Dr. Al-Rajabi relates how she was twisting and turning from pains the very first time she walked into his office. Now she can do her job and daily tasks without worrying about pain.

Not only has the donation helped patients’ health improve, it also has improved the overall quality of their lives, by restoring social lives and productivity and by making a good night’s sleep possible

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