Al-Sahaba clinic is one of the leading health facilities in Gaza.
It is also the only clinic staffed by women to treat women. The large, inviting center offers essential services mostly to impoverished women.
Since its inauguration five years ago, Al-Sahaba has received a lot of support from ANERA through its In-Kind Medical Program. Pharmacist Rana Saleh is grateful for the help: “During these difficult economic times, medicine prices have been doubled and people can’t afford them. The border closure has broken us. In the local market, we can find a few medications that come through the tunnels from Egypt. But they are not supervised and not good quality.”
ANERA supplies medicines that are difficult to find or too expensive to buy. For example, one recent donation from AmeriCares provided women and children with multivitamins and antibiotics.
The World Health Organization estimates that malnutrition among women and children dramatically increased after the Gaza war in early 2009. Today 10% of Gazan children and 40% of Gazan mothers suffer from chronic malnutrition. “Some pregnant women who come to the clinic have only a 6 or 7 hemoglobin count. Eight out of ten women are in a dire need of prenatal multivitamins that are rich in folic acid and iron,” added Dr. Saleh.
Low immunity among the children is especially evident in the cold, wet winter months. “The Omnicef antibiotic is very effective for children with low immunity who might get a really bad case of the flu that is complicated by other bacterial or respiratory infections,” said Dr Saleh.
“With Omnicef,” she adds, “patients have improved after only four days, compared with 15 days using other less effective antibiotics that are available elsewhere. Equivalent medicines on the open market are very expensive. Thanks to ANERA and AmeriCares, I can keep going and help so many people. It makes my day when I see my patients’ delight and relief when they realize they won’t have to pay for good quality medicines that will make their families healthy again.”