It all began three years ago for Naela when she was pregnant with her fourth child.
One day, she went in for a routine visit to check on her pregnancy and she found out that blood tests showed she had diabetes and high blood pressure. “At first, I thought maybe my high blood pressure and diabetes came about because of my pregnancies. But actually these conditions run in my family,” she said.
Her doctor told Naela that it is important for her to lose weight, eat healthily, and lower her cholesterol levels. He prescribed Pravastatin Sodium, saying it is effective in reducing the possibility of strokes and hearts attacks. “Without the medicine, she would be at very high risk. Bad cholesterol would build up and cause her coronary arteries to block up,” said her doctor.
Patients Struggle to Find Medicines Amid Chronic Shortages
One of the major angsts for Naela is finding the medicine in Gaza. For almost 10 years, the territory has had its borders blocked, leading to severe shortages in medicines and supplies. Pharmacies and other health facilities have particular problems with keeping stocks of chronic disease medicines available.
Often, when patients like Naela are lucky enough to find medicine they need, it is way beyond their limited budgets, especially to have to buy it every month. And Naela is one of the lucky few in Gaza who has a full-time job. With Gaza unemployment at around 45%, families have no income for medicines or health care.
That’s why Anera’s deliveries of quality, donated medicine to Gaza are so critical. Through charitable clinics and hospitals, patients are able to get the medicines they need free of charge, because Anera delivers them without cost to the medical facilities. Recently, Anera distributed enough Pravastatin Sodium for 300 patients – patients like Naela.
“Getting this medicine has made me feel so much better, and less stressed,” says Naela. “It takes a lot to accept living with a disease, but it would break hearts forever if I couldn’t get the treatment I needed when I needed it. It gives me hope to never give up for the sake of my family and for everyone I love.”