Anera Delivers Cancer Medicines to Gaza’s Only Hospital Specialized in Cancer Treatment
The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital is the only facility specialized to treat cancer patients in Gaza. Supplies of critical cancer drugs were temporarily out of stock and patients had to go through the arduous months-long process of transferring outside Gaza for their treatment. The World Health Organization reports about 42 percent of medical referrals from Gaza to the West Bank are denied or receive no response.
Anera now has delivered a new supply of medicine, thanks to a generous donation from Direct Relief. The shipment contained 255 vials of docetaxel. The drug is used to treat advanced or metastatic breast cancer in patients who have already taken other cancer medications after chemotherapy failed.
Ibrahim Sobh, a pharmacist at the hospital's chemotherapy pharmacy, says that docetaxel is an essential medication in breast cancer treatments. He says the pharmacy was out of the drug for about a month.
"The drug, like other cancer medications, is very expensive and not available in our local pharmacies. We were forced to refer patients to the West Bank or place them in an alternative, less effective chemotherapy protocol."
"We were forced to refer patients to the West Bank or place them in an alternative, less effective chemotherapy protocol."
The medicine must be provided on a regular basis every three weeks to treat breast cancer patients. Every week, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital treats 25 patients with this medication.
Salha, a mother of 12 from Rafah in southern Gaza, was diagnosed with breast cancer six months ago. The 70-year-old was transferred for treatment to the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, south of Gaza City in central Gaza.
"I began my treatment journey three months ago after receiving confirmation of my diagnosis,” Salha says. “I feel much better on this medication and I have only two more doses left."
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