“Because of the constant siege imposed on Gaza, the health situation and medical services have become very hard here,” said pharmacy manager Ibrahim Hamad in Gaza.
“We face a critical shortage of so many medications.”
Dr. Hamad says when a generous donor steps in and provides free medicine, it strengthens a doctor’s ability to care for his patients. It also helps ease the patients’ economic burden, especially those suffering from chronic diseases who cannot leave Gaza for treatment. “It helps us take the lead in caring as much as we can for our community,” Dr. Hamad added.
One much-needed medicine in short supply is Simvastatin, which was donated by the Catholic Medical Mission Board and recently shipped to Gaza by Anera. The medication is used to lower the count of lipids, such as hyper lipids, triglycerides and cholesterol. “The risk of arteriosclerosis among patients becomes very high if the level of lipids is not managed,” explained Dr. Hamad.
Drawing on 12 years of experience in the pharmacy, Dr. Hamad ranks Simvastatin among the most-needed medications in Gaza. “The price in a private pharmacy is 95 NIS ($27) and it only covers a patient for one month. What we receive through this donation will cover three months. And, we offer it free of charge.” The pharmacy has already distributed its shipment to four other branches to reach patients across Gaza.
Dr. Hamad says the hospital pharmacy serves 25 to 30 patients a day, including adults, children and patients with chronic diseases. “Already I know that 50 patients have benefited from this medication in addition to patients from the other four branches in Gaza,” said Dr Hamad, as he pointed to the few remaining bottles on the shelf.
Anera has been supplying donated medicines and medical supplies to hospitals and clinics in Gaza for more than two decades.