Anera Delivers Vital Iron Supplements for Pregnant Women in Palestine
Samia, 29, is eight months pregnant. The resident of Shejaiya, a neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, already has two children. Her pregnancy is not without problems. She has suffered a sharp decrease in her hemoglobin level because of iron deficiency anemia. Samia regularly takes an iron supplement that she gets from the Near East Council of Churches (NECC) clinic nearby.
Thanks to generous donations from International Health Partners, Anera was able to distribute more than 100,000 ferrous sulfate tablets to 17 clinics and hospitals, including Samia’s clinic. The shipment for NECC was enough to keep the clinic stocked for eight months.
The shipment contained other medications, including analgesics, anthelmintics, antibiotics and medicines to treat hypertension and diabetes.
Samia has been going to the NECC clinic ever since she had her first child. She says NECC’s free care and medicine greatly reduced her financial burden during pregnancy.
Like most families in Gaza, Samia lives in difficult economic conditions. Her husband is unemployed so it is hard to meet the family’s basic needs. "If I needed iron and it wasn't available, I couldn’t afford to buy it and I need to take it for my pregnancy and after I give birth to keep my iron levels up.”
"We hope to continue the clinic’s support for these women and ease their financial burden.”
NECC pharmacist Faten Abu Hamad says the donation is a life-saver. “We are very happy with every shipment of medicines provided by Anera because they support patients in these difficult circumstances."
NECC takes care of pregnant women and provides the necessary nutritional supplements during pregnancy, as well as continuing postpartum care. "The cost of a shipment of iron is approximately $7,000 to $9,000 every six months, so Anera’s effort to provide a large amount of the medicine for a period of eight months is an excellent thing."
Faten says NECC receives some 2,000 to 2,500 pregnant women each year who require continuous medical care and nutritional supplements such as iron, calcium, and vitamins during their pregnancy. "We hope to continue the clinic’s support for these women and ease their financial burden.”
Pharmacist Diana Sabah works in one of NECC clinics east of Gaza. The 26-year-old says the iron supplements provided by Anera have been welcomed by the women.
Diana highlighted that Anera always provides medicines of high international standards. "We work in marginalized areas where families suffer from very difficult economic situations but that does not mean we would skimp on the quality of their care. They deserve the best and, thanks to Anera, they are getting it.”
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Gaza City Governorate
In 1984, Anera’s Gaza City office opened with three staff members. It is still at the same location today, but with 17 staff members. From that location, the team manages water and sanitation, education, healthcare, economic development, and humanitarian relief projects throughout Gaza.