New Equipment is Life Line for Gaza Blood Bank

21.01.11 – 12:08

ANERA – PNN – The Central Blood Bank Society (CBBS) is literally a life-saving institution in Gaza. Its motto – “From Heart to Heart” – aptly sums up its mission to encourage people to donate blood to help others survive.


ANERA’s Mostafa Al Ghosain inspect the new chemical analyzer









“The Bank, with branches in Rafah and Khan Younis, plays a key role in the community with limited resources but it suffered from old and out-dated lab equipment and refrigerators, which badly affected their ability to serve the community,” said Dr. Mostafa El-Ghosiene, ANERA’s Gaza manager of the in-kind donation program.

During the bombardments in 2009, the Bank provided blood when it wasn’t available in local hospitals and clinics. CBBS Director Dr. Nahed Abu Asi remembers the difficult time. “People were not able to leave their residential areas. We ordered five shipments from the National Blood Bank of Jordan but we had a major problem with blood storage.” The blood Bank received 100 units of blood and 1,000 units of plasma and had to store the shipment in huge supermarket ice cream refrigerators. “It was the only option and it helped us save lives,” he explained.

Thanks to a generous $100,000 donation from the National American Arab Medical Association (NAAMA), The  American Near East Refugee Aid- ANERA-   was able to deliver much-needed equipment to the Bank, including refrigerators, refrigerated centrifuges, an electric sealer, chemistry analyzer, Eliza reader, CBC machine, water bath and micro-plate washer. With the donation, the Bank has increased its blood storage capacity and laboratory services.

“It makes a tremendous improvement to what we can provide in terms of developing the capacity of the laboratory and the Bank itself,” said Dr. Nahed. The Khan Younis and Rafah branches each received a refrigerator, which doubled their blood storage capacity from 150 to 300 units.

Staff has also upgraded the cleanliness of operations with the electric sealer, replacing manual closure of blood bags. “The staff used to tie the tube of the blood bag, which increased the risk of contamination,” said Dr Abu Asi.


The new centrifuge, which separates blood from plasma









The Bank conducts numerous tests to make sure donated blood is free of critical viruses like HIV, HCV and HBSAG. For more than a decade, the staff did the testing manually, which took an hour to complete. Thanks to the Eliza reader, they can conduct tests on 60 blood units in just 15 minutes.

Since 2004, the Bank stopped the public lab testing because of the deteriorated equipment. With the new donations, they can now offer testing and analysis services at very low prices. A glucose test at the blood Bank, for example, costs 5 NIS ($1.40), compared to 15 NIS ($4.25) elsewhere. Dr. Abu Asi explains, “The low cost of tests benefit people in need and the Bank still can generate enough income to cover operating and maintenance costs.”

Director Abu Asi says the centrifuge, which separates blood, is one of the Bank’s most beneficial additions, “During an emergency here in Gaza, we treat bleeding patients who are in need of certain content of blood or plasma. If we give the patients a whole unit of blood, it could make the condition worse.”

Looking to the future with renewed confidence, Dr Abu Asi says the ANERA contribution has a long-term impact on the community. He says Central Blood Bank Society plans to open a training facility for local medical students and conduct health information campaigns for the local community to increase awareness about the benefits of the blood Bank’s services.

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PNN – Palestine News Network – New Equipment is Life Line for Gaza Blood Bank.


US medical delegation to land in Gaza on Sunday

[ 15/01/2011 – 10:05 AM ]


GAZA, (PIC)– A US medical delegation is scheduled to land in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to perform a series of medical operations.

The Gaza program for mental health, the trip’s coordinator, has completed preparations to receive the delegation of eight doctors of surgical specialists and psychologists from the US Physicians for Social Responsibility group. The medics will stay in Gaza until January 24.

The delegation will visit government and civil health and rights foundations during the visit in coordination with Gaza Health Ministry and the general hospital authority.

The delegation visited the Gaza Strip twice in recent years. The doctors carried out many orthopedic and urologic procedures and assessed dozens of other patients.

US medical delegation to land in Gaza on Sunday.

Relief society: Israel’s violations worsen health services for Gaza children

[ 13/01/2011 – 08:37 AM ]


GAZA, (PIC)– The Palestinian medical relief society warned that the health services provided for children, especially the cancer patients, in the Gaza Strip are insufficient and getting worse as a result of Israel’s ongoing blockade and military attacks on the Strip.

In its annual report, the society said that in 2010 it provided a range of services for children who developed diseases or were injured during the last war on Gaza.

“We are working on providing integrated quality services aimed at improving the medical, social, economic and psychological conditions of the wounded children and their families,” director of the society Ayyd Yagi stated.

Yagi affirmed that the medical relief crews follow up 276 children injured during the war and help them financially, adding that the relief society last year assisted financially those children on a regular basis in cooperation with the Italian charity Ghazala.

He also said that the society also help in other 100 children, including orphans and patients who suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart, kidney diseases.

In another incident, a committee of NGOs, human rights organizations and the representative of the world health organization was formed in Gaza on Wednesday.

The committee will be embarking on resolving the crisis of inadequate medicines and medical supplies which was created by the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in Ramallah city.

This came during an urgent meeting held at the NGOs headquarters in Gaza to address the acute shortage of medicines and medical supplies in Gaza.

The Palestinian ministry of health had accused the illegitimate government in Ramallah of not providing Gaza fully with its share of medical supplies and deliberately causing a crisis in the health sector.

Rrelief society: Israel’s violations worsen health services for Gaza children.

Palestinians in Gaza face health crisis

PressTV – Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:13PM

A Palestinian child lies in the dialysis room of a hospital in the Gaza City in the north of the Gaza Strip, June 8, 2010.
The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip warns of a health crisis as the impoverished enclave is running out of direly needed medicine.

The ministry warned that dozens of chronically-ill patients, especially those with cancer and kidney problems, could die soon, if they do not receive medicine.

The officials said its storages suffered 40-percent depletion, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported on Sunday.

They said the coastal sliver is facing a lack of medication for leukemia, blood problems, epilepsy, thalassemia and maternal health problems.

The ministry also expressed concerns that the stock of insulin and kidney dialysis fluid in Gaza’s hospitals and health centers could run out within days.

The crippling land, aerial and naval blockade imposed by Israel on the coastal sliver has also restricted the movement of people out of Gaza.

A coalition of 22 international NGOs and human rights groups said in late November that the system for issuing the patients exit permits were arbitrary, unpredictable and time consuming, a Press TV correspondent recently reported. Many die, while on the waiting list, he added.

The ministry blames the situation on the Palestinian Authority for refusing to send enough medical supplies to the Gaza Strip.


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PressTV – Palestinians in Gaza face health crisis.

Health Ministry: Gaza Strip will soon run out of dialysis solution, insulin

[ 10/01/2011 – 08:18 AM ]


GAZA, (PIC)– The Gaza Health Ministry warned Sunday that the Strip will run out of dialysis solution and insulin in days.

“The drug deficit has reached more than 40 per cent in the warehouses. There are 165 missing medical consumables,” the ministry’s General Directorate of Pharmaceuticals said.

The Health Ministry has held its counterpart in the PA-governed West Bank responsible for the shortage and accused it of withholding essential medicines.

Only 37 per cent of required medical supplies reached the Strip in 2010, the Health Ministry said, warning that a medical disaster affecting thousands of patients could befall the Gaza Strip at any moment.

Since Israel tightened its economic siege of the region four years back, 378 Palestinians have died from lack of medicines and being prohibited to get treatment abroad.

In a separate development, the Ministry of Health has announced that the Gaza Strip is free of the swine flu, caused by the H1N1 virus.

Several people were recorded to have been infected with the virus in the neighboring areas of the West Bank, Jordan, and more.

“No case of the virus has reached us. We are prepared to cope with such cases,” the ministry’s undersecretary Dr. Hassan Khalaf told the Quds Press.

Gaza was the last place in the world affected by the virus.

Health Ministry: Gaza Strip will soon run out of dialysis solution, insulin.

Gaza Health Ministry says Medicine – Insulin and Kidney Dialysis Fluid Running Out Within Days

Published today 21:53

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s Ministry of Health warned Sunday that it was at risk of running out of insulin and kidney dialysis fluid within days.

The ministry’s pharmacy administration said its deficit of stored medicine had reached 40 percent, and that it had run out of medication to treat leukemia, blood problems, epilepsy, thalassemia and maternal health problems.

The Health Ministry blamed its Palestinian Authority counterpart for the deficit, saying the Ramallah-based ministry had only sent 37 percent of medicine allocated to the Gaza Strip in 2010.

The Gaza government ministry appealed to international organizations to intervene and urged all involved parties to pressure the PA to send medicine to the Strip.

Maan News Agency: Gaza Health Ministry says medicine running out.

Gaza Hospitals in Dire Need of Medicines-Health Ministry

Article Date: 22:18 2010/12/27
Article ID: 0087
Gaza, December 27 (QNA) -The Palestinian Health Ministry warned on Monday against Israel”s ban on the entry of medicines and medical equipment to hospitals in the Gaza Strip. The strip has been suffering from an oppressive siege that impacted all walks of life and aggravated by the ban on the entry of medical assistance and relief aid, a statement by the ministry said. It urged humanitarian organizations, the International Red Cross and the World Health Organization to help end the ban as soon as possible and to allow the entry of medicines which hospitals badly need. (QNA) M T Z

QNA | News | Gaza Hospitals in Dire Need of Medicines-Health Ministry.



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PressTV – Gaza faced with growing health crisis

Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:54PM
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Authorities in the Gaza Strip have warned that the health problems of impoverished Gazans have been intensified due to a crippling four-year-old siege by Israel.

The Gaza Strip’s Ministry of Health said on Monday the crisis would continue unless Israel allowed in vital material and basic necessities, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The ministry added that local hospitals were in need of chemicals required to produce oxygen as well as spare parts for x-ray machines.

Gazans, in particular cancer patients in the region, are also suffering from lack of necessary medicines as a result of the Israeli blockade on the coastal area since June 2007.

The warning comes as Palestinians mark the second anniversary of Israel’s devastating war on the Gaza Strip in December 2008.

Tel Aviv staged an all-out war on the densely-populated coastal sliver three days before the start of 2009. The strikes left more than 1,400 Palestinians — including at least 300 children — dead and nearly 5,000 more injured.

The offensive also demolished some 4,000 houses in the blockaded territory and devastated a large portion of the region’s infrastructure. The war-hit strip also saw UN-run schools and centers targeted by Israeli army forces.

More than 50,000 people were displaced as a result of the three-week war.


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