Donated antibiotics treat toothache in Gaza

“I have been feeling aches all over... I couldn’t even touch my cheek last night.” — Manar

Manar is at Caritas getting antibiotic treatment
Manar came to Caritas after a long sleepless night.

The Caritas Medical Center in Gaza is crowded with patients this morning. Some of them are in the waiting room with toothaches, counting the minutes until they can see the dentist and get some relief from their pain.

Dr. Shaban Jouda is that dentist. He says the center in Gaza City sees some 10 cases each day of severe toothache caused by bacterial infections.

Manar is one of the urgent cases. “I have been feeling aches all over,” the mother of five says. “At first I couldn’t tell what was causing the pain. For two days, I couldn’t sleep, eat or even drink water.” Finally, the pain began to concentrate in her tooth. “I couldn’t even touch my cheek last night.”

“Tooth infections can quickly spread to other areas, so it’s important to cure them quickly,” Jouda says. “Otherwise there will be dangerous complications.”

In cases of serious tooth infections like this, clindamycin is the first course of treatment. The antibiotic is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections.

Manar began feeling better soon after starting the week-long course of clindamycin.

Dr. Shaban Jouda with a patient in the dentist's office
Dr. Shaban Jouda treats many toothaches every day.

Donated medicines relieve antibiotic shortages in Gaza

Many patients in Gaza cannot afford clindamycin at market rates. So international medical donors play an essential role in providing donated shipments of the medicine that clinics like Caritas give to patients without charge.

Anera’s partner, Health Partners International Canada, recently provided a shipment containing clindamycin hydrochloride, among other medications, which we delivered to 12 hospitals and clinics across Gaza.