3-Year-Old Child Dies Due to Lack of Facilities in Gaza

Jul 14 2017 / 5:03 pm
Hospitals in the Gaza Strip may be forced to close due to lack of funding. (Mohd Assad)

The latest victim of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s dramatic reduction in medical referrals for residents of the besieged Gaza Strip was a three-year-old girl, who died on Thursday after the PA failed to respond to her urgent request for treatment in an Israeli hospital.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza reportedly told Israeli daily Haaretz that the three-year-old girl had suffered from heart complications and necessitated an urgent surgery that, like many other medical treatments, was unavailable in the besieged enclave.

However, as the request went unanswered by the PA, the girl eventually died due to her illness.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the girl became the 16th resident, including three newborns, in Gaza to have died from recent PA policies that have delayed the approval of medical referrals for treatment in the occupied West Bank and Israel, Haaretz reported.

In recent months, the PA Health Ministry has gradually halted and delayed medical referrals for residents in Gaza to receive treatment abroad, which came without explanation and amid a healthcare crisis that has been compounded by life-saving equipment being made inoperable due to the territory’s worsening electricity crisis.

The medical sector in Gaza has been particularly hit hard by PA policies and the ongoing decade-long Israeli siege of Gaza.

Over the previous few months, the PA cut its funding to the medical sector in the besieged enclave, which has seen the typical $4 million monthly budget of Gaza’s health ministry plummet to just $500,000.

In the past months, the medical shelves in Gaza’s hospitals have been almost emptied, with scores of vital medicines no longer available in the besieged territory.

In 2012, the UN warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current trends were not altered. In a new report released this month, the UN said that “life for the average Palestinian in Gaza is getting more and more wretched.”

“An 11 year-old child has not experienced more than 12 hours of electricity in a single day in his/her lifetime. No one remembers a time in recent memory when drinkable water reliably appeared out of the tap,” the report read.

(Maan, PC, Social Media)

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