• February 7, 2009

Health ministry appeals for saving lives of hundreds of cancer patients in Gaza

Health ministry appeals for saving lives of hundreds of cancer patients in Gaza

The ministry of health in Gaza appealed to all concerned human rights organizations to urgently intervene to save the lives of hundreds of cancer patients who are languishing under the yoke of the Israeli siege and cannot find a single pill to ease their pains.


In a statement issued on the occasion of the world cancer day and a copy of which was received by the PIC, the ministry said that more than 250 cancer patients including 100 children are deprived of their most basic rights to receive treatment and take medication.


The statement noted that Israel imposes restrictions on the travel of Gaza patients for medical treatment outside Gaza and refuses to release medical supplies held at the crossings.


It pointed out that the health ministry started years ago to establish a specialized center for diagnostic and therapeutic radiation (Prince Naif Center) inside the Shifa hospital, but Israel refuses until this moment to allow in the equipment necessary for operating the center at full capacity.


For its part, the ministry of prisoners” affairs said in a press statement received by the PIC that 16 Palestinian cancer patients are imprisoned in Israeli jails without providing them with appropriate treatment.


Riyadh Al-Ashqar, the director of the ministry”s information office, stated that hundreds of prisoners in Israeli jails suffer from various diseases varying in seriousness due to the policy of medical neglect.


Ashqar underscored that there are many Palestinian patients who lost their sight, became paralyzed or sustained psychological disorders because of isolating them in solitary confinement or torturing them.


He pointed that one of the serious cancer cases is the suffering of prisoner Raed Drabiah who is still jailed in the Eishel isolation prison, where he suffers from a rare flesh-eating cancer which made his back continuously bleed and led to the exposure of his spinal cord, adding that the prison administration isolated him in a solitary cell and did not provide him with a medical follow-up.


The official appealed to all concerned organizations especially those dealing with the medical field to urgently send medical committees to visit Israeli prisons to follow up the Palestinian patients who are exposed to slow death.