Al Jazeera Net correspondent
GazaPalestinian Ibrahim al-Azazi was not killed by an Israeli shell or missile, but his family and loved ones believe he was martyred after facing hardship and losing the proper treatment he had been receiving for more than 20 years. Hospitalizations are rising as a result of Israel's ongoing war on the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive month.
Since 2001, “Sheikh Ibrahim”, as he is known in the city of Rafah in the far south of the Gaza Strip, has been living with kidney failure, and regularly undergoes dialysis 4 times a week at the Nasser Government Hospital in Khan City. Are. Eunice. During these long years he never had to face such harsh conditions. During the current war they faced even more harsh conditions.
A few weeks before his death last December, the health of Sheikh Ibrahim, 46, had deteriorated due to difficulty reaching the city of Khan Younis, which was attacked by occupation forces as part of a major ground operation. And he could do this. There was no room for him in the only government hospital in the city, Abu Yusuf al-Najjar. Rafa.
martyrs of disease
Yahya al-Azazi believes his uncle Sheikh Ibrahim's life is over, but he told Al Jazeera Net, “My uncle was patient and lived with the disease for 23 years, and he received dialysis There was no hindrance, as it happened during this war (..) he died of disease and suffering.”
Even before the Israeli war began on October 7, al-Azazi visited the dialysis unit at Nasser Hospital 4 times a week, spending 3 to 4 hours at a time, and as a result, he suffered a variety of problems. Had to do. The suffering began with lack of transportation. Most taxis stopped working due to the fuel crisis, and there was no space for them even in the hospital.
Yahya says, “Nasser Hospital transferred Sheikh Ibrahim to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where they could not find a place for him. He was cut off from dialysis for some time, and he could not move around. Were tired of.” “Two hospitals to treat him.”
Washing was performed 4 times a week at a rate of about 12 hours, and in the last two weeks before his death, Sheikh Ibrahim underwent two washing sessions at a rate of one hour each session, one of them at Nasser Hospital and The second at Abu Yusuf Al-Najjar Hospital. “This was not enough for my uncle's condition, and as a family we demanded that he be recorded and counted as a martyr, along with other patients who lost their lives as a result of the war,” Yahya says. Lack of treatment and medicines.”
death is disease and oppression
In a similar story of suffering, sixty-year-old Wazeha al-Jamal died. Her son Hazem told Al Jazeera Net that his mother's health condition deteriorated rapidly and dangerously after the Israeli war began.
For years, Wajiha (65 years old) had been undergoing dialysis twice per week at the rate of 8 hours per week at the Abu Youssef al-Najjar hospital, but due to war-related conditions and heavy pressure on the city's only dialysis unit in Rafah, This dropped to just once per week, at a rate of 2 hours.
In her last days before her death, Wajiha, who – according to Hazem – had lost her “dearest daughters” as a result of an Israeli attack that took the lives of her and her five daughters – buried parts of her body. I was suffering from tumor. “My mother died due to illness and the abuse of my sister, who was her dearest sister,” he says.
The city of Rafah, where more than half of the Gaza Strip's population currently resides, is seeing a significant increase in mortality, including among patients with kidney and chronic diseases, as a result of large waves of displacement.
According to documentation from the city's health emergency committee, there were 30 to 40 deaths per day, whereas before the war the mortality rate was 5 cases per day.
imminent health collapse
Dr. Marwan al-Hams, head of the emergency committee and director of Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital, told Al Jazeera Net that the only dialysis unit in the city was treating 110 patients, and that the number had risen to 525 patients. Resulting in mass migration from all the cities of the Strip to the city of Rafah.
Local and international estimates indicate that more than one million Palestinians, representing half the population of the Gaza Strip, approximately 2.2 million people, were forced to flee their homes and cities to escape Israeli offensives.
This put enormous pressure on Abu Youssef al-Najjar Hospital, which is the only government hospital in the city that provides dialysis services, and has only 18 machines. According to Al-Hams, the hospital administration was forced to reduce the weekly washing time for each patient to only twice, which “is not sufficient from a medical point of view.”
By extension, health conditions appear to be worsening as these devices become worn out and exhausted. “Clinically, it is known that the life of a device ends when it reaches 20,000 working hours,” says Al-Hams. “Our devices have exceeded 50,000 hours, and yet, there is tremendous pressure from patients and a need for choices.” Due to shortage they hardly stop working even for a moment.
According to al-Hams, those who suffer from chronic diseases face double suffering due to the lack of medicines during the war, citing as examples combination medicines for blood pressure and diabetes, most of which Not available in health sector. , While medications for asthma and cancer are very rare, a patient not getting these medications regularly can lead to serious complications and death.