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Christian charity sees Gaza health care crisis first-hand

by Tola Mbakwe

Recently generators at seven health centres in the besieged Gaza Strip stopped working due to a fuel shortage and Gaza's largest hospital cancelled all medical procedures because hospital cleaning staff went on strike.

Jamie Eyre from Christian charity Embrace the Middle East was in Gaza last week.

He told Premier there are major concerns.

"Sixteen government clinics closed their doors because of a lack of fuel, power has been reduced to just four hours of electricity at a time and twelve hours off," he said.

Eyre said the cause of the crisis is the eleven year Gaza blockade.

"Therefore there's real difficulty getting goods in and out, "he said. "You've got to have the ability to travel. The ongoing situation between Israel and Palestine and some salaries not being paid by the authorities are also causes. "

Embrace has partnered with some hospitals to help them. For example, the organisation will be doing a project with Al Alhi Hospital.

The project offers free medical care for poor patients two days per week at the hospital. Patients will be followed for at least one month to monitor the response to treatment. Ahli will also provide a meal and free transport to and from the hospital for each patient and contribute towards fuel and drug supplies.

Embrace Middle East

Eyre encouraged Christians to pray for reconciliation and peace.

He said: "We need to see the situation change and the blockade finished.

"Very practically we can give. There's a shortage of resources. There's a lack of drugs and funds to buy essential drug supplies is really important. Providing money for fuel is also really essential. If the electrical supplies are going off, hospitals need generators to run."

Listen to Premier's Tola Mbakwe speaking with Jamie Eyre here: 

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