Saturday, October 16, 2010


... of Life:

"Twelve-year-old Stephanie Ann Elisabeth never attended a gym class or rode on a bycycle. A congenital heart defect makes it hard for her to perform any kind of physical activity. Now she may be able to realize her dream of playing volleyball after undergoing surgery in the Edith Wolfson medical Center in Holon. Stephanie Ann arrived in Israel from Haiti together with 2-year-old Jacqueline Santos and 3-year-old Jean Francois Drensky. All 3 came to Israel with their mothers in order to undergo heart surgeries for their various birth defects as part of a project organized by the Save a Child's Heart Foundation." (Haitian kids to undergo surgery in Israel, Meital Yasur-Beit Or,, 21/9/10)

... & Death:

"GAZA CITY - Samir Tahseen al-Nadeem died after waiting 35 days for an exit permit for treatment for his heart condition. He was 26. The medicines he needed could not get in. But the coffins do. The health ministry now lists 275 deaths due to shortage of life-saving medicines. The medicines sit just outside the borders of the territory until most pass their expiry dates. But there are no expiry dates on about 10,000 coffins that have been donated for Gaza. The coffins do make it to those that eventually need them. By the end of last month more than 70% of medicines donated for Gaza had been dumped because they were past their expiry date, the health ministry says. They were worth many millions of dollars. They were worth many lives. 'Much of the donated medicines come from Arab states', Dr Munir al-Boursh, director of the pharmaceutical department at the health ministry tells IPS. This added up to 10,300 tonnes of medicines worth 25 million dollars, he said. Only about 30% of this could be used, he said; the rest either expired or was inaccessible because of restricted distribution by the Israelis, who control what gets into Gaza. It's not easy to dump medicines safely either. Much of the unused supply mixes with domestic waste, creating health hazards far from bringing relief. The World Health Organization has had to 'raise concern about the unsafe disposal of expired medication and other disposable material', a WHO spokesperson told IPS. But the Gaza ministry has received 10,000 coffins, about 1,000 of them for children, Dr Boursh said. Such help, he said, 'does not meet with the needs of the Gaza Strip'. What Gaza needs is 110 types of medicines and 123 types of medical equipment that the ministry has listed. Gaza is expected to run out of more medicines over the next few months. The announced ease in the blockade of Gaza has not currently brought more supplies." (In Gaza, no drugs, but coffins do come in, Mohammed Omer,, 13/10/10)

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