• Rafah

  • Sunday, March 24, 2024 at 12:10 PM
    Last Update : Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 4:50 AM

Gaza’s Cancer Patients Face Double Risk of Death

(AWP) -  Cancer patients in Gaza are facing twice the risk of death because, if they survive the Israeli bombing, they risk losing their lives at any moment since they have not been receiving chemotherapy for months due to the war and the closure of the cancer center at a hospital in central Gaza since November 2023.

Zaki Hosni Zaqzouq, an oncology consultant at the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, said in statements to the Arab World Press (AWP) that the equipment and tools necessary for diagnosing new cases are unavailable.
He estimated that the number of potential cancer patients who have not been diagnosed since the outbreak of war on October 7 is between 1,000 and 1,500.

Zaqzouq said, “We haven’t administered chemotherapy for five months simply because it is not available. Through friends and institutions in neighboring countries, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, we were able to send our patients to resume some treatments that are completely unavailable to us.”
He noted that about 1,000 patients have gone to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar to resume treatment.

The Palestinian oncology expert said some of the patients who traveled outside the strip for treatment have died due to the deterioration of their health condition caused by the long delay in receiving their chemotherapy doses.

Zaqzouq warned, “Those who remain in the Gaza Strip are not likely to receive treatment because there is no treatment, nor places offering chemotherapy, nor cancer treatment centers. Therefore, they are facing the risk of death.” 
Bouthayna Youssef, a cancer patient who underwent surgery in 2022 then radiation therapy last year has not received any medication since the war began.

She said, “I hope God will bestow healing on me. I hope to resume my treatment. I have only one daughter who has Down syndrome. She has no one to rely on except me.”

The government’s media office in Gaza had said 10,000 cancer patients in the enclave are facing the risk of death due to a lack of treatment and health services.