• Rafah

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 6:11:32 AM
    Last Update : Monday, January 29, 2024 at 6:40 AM

Lack of Blood Testing Equipment in Gaza Endangers Lives

(AWP) - With the Israeli war and blockade on the Gaza Strip continuing, the very few hospitals still functioning are facing yet another crisis after the Ministry of Health announced its inability to provide them with Complete Blood Count (CBC) tests.

Manal Eissa, a medical laboratory specialist working at the Kuwaiti Hospital, which provides health care for thousands of patients in the centre of Rafah city, south of the Strip, said, “We are suffering from a severe shortage of materials, especially related to the Complete Blood Count (CBC) test, especially after the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip announced its complete cessation of providing this test.”

She added, “The hospital will announce within two or three days that we have stopped carrying out this test due to the unavailability of supplies. Here we have two devices for this test; one of which is not working, and the other which will stop working in a few days.”

A CBC test helps in determining a patient’s overall health and diagnosing a wide range of conditions, including anaemia, infections, leukaemia and other diseases.

Eissa pleaded for help, calling on “any responsible party or association that can help provide us with materials related to these tests.”

She explained, “The Kuwaiti Hospital provides medical services to a very large number of patients. We examine between 200 and 300 cases daily, and the CBC test is not an ordinary test. I cannot deal with the patient and treat the patient in isolation without it, as it is the test that guides me in dealing with their needs. [The CBC test] determines the presence of inflammation, its severity, and the type of treatment. We are confused and do not know how we will proceed.”

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the population of Rafah has nearly quadrupled since the beginning of the war on October 7, reaching 1.2 million people living in severe conditions amid shortages of food and essential medical care.