Shortages of basic medical supplies in Gaza persist. Although this report was written in April the situation has not improved since then, despite the subsequent reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas, which should enable more transfers of supplies from the West Bank to Gaza (if only Israel would stop its obstructions) and Egypt's planned opening of the Rafah crossing on a permanent basis.
The Gaza strip must cope with a drug shortage, even though Israeli and Egyptian officials talk about easing the blockade that has left this crowded enclave effectively isolated since July 2007. A political rift between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank hinders communication and coordination between the two Palestinian health ministries -- adding to the hardships already faced by medical patients inside Gaza.
A remedy is needed for the time lag between placing orders to authorities in the West Bank and the delivery of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants, who have lived under siege for years. In the Lancet medical journal I reported that Norwegian diplomats hope to initiate negotiations between Gaza and Ramallah in order to solve this medical crisis through better logistics and monitoring. more