Coffins, not medicine

As we continue to ignore the root cause of our terrorism problem, life and death in Gaza go on:

GAZA CITY, Oct 13, 2010 (IPS) – Samir Tahseen Al-Nadeem died after waiting 35 days for an exit permit for treatment for his heart condition. He was 26. The medicines he needed could not get in. But the coffins do.

The health ministry now lists 375 deaths due to shortage of life-saving medicines. The medicines sit just outside the borders of the territory until most pass their expiry dates. But there are no expiry dates on about 10,000 coffins that have been donated for Gaza. The coffins do make it to those that eventually need them.

By the end of last month more than 70 percent of medicines donated for Gaza had been dumped because they were past their expiry date, the health ministry says. They were worth many millions of dollars. And they were worth many lives.

“Much of the donated medicines came from Arab states,” Dr Mounir Al- Boursh, director of the pharmaceutical department at the health ministry tells IPS. This added up to 10,300 tonnes of medicines worth 25 million dollars, he said.

Only about 30 percent of this could be used, he said; the rest either expired, or was inaccessible because of restricted distribution by the Israelis, who control what gets into Gaza.

It’s not easy to dump medicines safely either. Much of unused supply mixes with domestic waste, creating health hazards far from bringing relief. The World Health Organisation has had to “raise concern about the unsafe disposal of expired medication and other medical disposable material,” WHO spokesperson told IPS.

But the Gaza ministry has received 10,000 coffins, about 1,000 of them for children, Dr Boursh said. Such help, he said, “does not meet with the needs of the Gaza Strip.”

4 thoughts on “Coffins, not medicine

  1. Very funny. Donate coffins to the Palestinians.
    Where can I donate to the Coffins for Israel fund?

  2. This is sickening. And infuriating. And terrible because WTH can any of us do? Call the WH? yeah, that’ll work….

    I’m not voting NOTA, since Dems could spin that as they’re not being rightwad enough for the electorate. So, I’ll some leftist third party for Federal positions up for election. Have to see what’s on offer! Will probably be Green, is anyone’s running. If not…hhmmm, what will I do to send a message?

    Full confession: Since I live in one of the richest counties in the country, much less NJ, the Repub House member has a sinccure. I can’t recall a truly viable Dem run in this county. May have been one guy, but he didn’t win. And then things returned to Repub candidate Frelinghuysen winning in a walk, as befits a scion of old money and House Rep for life or as long as he wants it.

  3. Hhhmmm. This hasn’t happened for a long time, but my IE8 PC is letting the posted comment spread clear across to the far right of the screen, with words hidden under the banter media site ad.

  4. I just don’t know what has to happen for people to wake up to the crimes being committed in their names with their tax dollars.
    [Google Rachel Corrie for just one little example.]
    The occupation and subjugation of Palestinians has attained genocide and international war crimes territory; the blood lust and desire for revenge seems to have no limits. But who will arrest them?
    If any other nation behaved the way Israel does, the United States would pound it to dust. The chosen peeps need to get over themselves.
    I figure I’ll have to do a write-in on Nov. 2. Unfortunately, our ballot will be another chance to chose the lesser weevil: the incumbent or his lunatic professional-politician challenger. To me, this is no choice. Supporting Israel is the de rigueur fashion flavor of the day in congress. The whole thing makes me ill.

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