A medical aid shipment is finally allowing residents of a West Bank town to obtain treatment
Abu Amer is at the Palestine Red Crescent Society charitable health center in the Hebron Governorate town of Bani Naim. He's here for a follow-up visit after receiving treatment for a severe chest infection. He had a bad cough for some time. It even woke him up at night.
The 63 year old says that in the past he has tried various antibiotics that would relieve his symptoms for a couple days, before the cough would return worse than ever. He spent a substantial amount of money on doctors visits and medications without success.
Abd Elsalam Mnaser, a physician at the Bani Naim clinic, diagnosed Abu Amer with an upper respiratory system infection and prescribed him the antibiotic moxifloxacin. The medicine is used on adults to treat bacterial infections such as sinus and lung infections.
Abu Amer was able to pursue this course of treatment thanks to a recent shipment of moxifloxacin generously donated by Direct Relief. The shipping costs of the donated medicine were covered by Islamic Relief USA through its Palestine Humanitarian Aid project.
Abu Amer says that a five day course of the antibiotic has cleared all of his symptoms. He jokes that, “It's been 15 days since I received the treatment and I feel like a 25 year old again.”
"I feel like a 25 year old again."
Mnaser says these types of infections are more common in the winter months.
Mohammad Zhour, another physician at the Bani Naim clinic, adds an epidemiological perspective. “We are located in a low-income area filled with quarries," he notes. The residents working at the quarries are at an elevated risk of chest infections due to the nature of their work.
Unfortunately, Zhour says, many people self-medicate without visiting a doctor, which leads “many people develop antibiotic resistance." Antibiotic resistance is a major problem in Palestine, in large part because pharmacies often sell antibiotics over-the-counter without a prescription.
This phenomenon makes a medicine like moxifloxacin all the more vital as a treatment option for doctors. "We treat patients with moxifloxacin as a last resort,” Zhour says.
Abu Amer was able to receive this medication for free. The cost of him staying at this charitable hospital for 5 days was 25 shekels ($7.15). For comparison, obtaining this treatment elsewhere would have cost him at least 5,000 shekels ($1,430).
“Thanks to Anera and its generous donor, Direct Relief, we have been able to provide Abu Amer and patients like him with vital medicine at no charge," Ismail Manasra the managing director at PRCS Bani Naim says. "Such aid helps us continue to provide assistance to vulnerable and poor communities in the West Bank.”
“Thanks to [this donation], we have been able to provide Abu Amer and patients like him with vital medicine at no charge."
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.