In early June, a seven-member team of doctors and nurses from Las Condes Clinic in Santiago, Chile arrived in the besieged Gaza Strip to start mission in providing surgical care for children with lower limb deformities as well as to provide microsurgery on hands and upper limbs, both areas of medicine in dire need in the Gaza Strip.
The volunteer team is made up of Dr. Roberto Raimann, Dr. Felipe Hodgson, Dr. Manuel Mendez, Dr. Pamela Vergara, anesthesiologist Dr. Claudio Ricke and Dr. Andres Leiva and OR nurse Gabriela Villagra.
After screening more than 90 children on their first day in Gaza, they have started operating on children at the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Younis in the neglected southern Gaza. This is the third mission from Chile to Palestine 2013 and the seventeenth since 2008. Chile is the second most active country in sending volunteer surgery teams to Palestine through the PCRF. more
The Ministry of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip announced the start of the grape season on Tuesday. Palestinians farmers are trying to fulfil the demand for local produce across the beleaguered territory and self-sufficiency is likely to be achieved.
The General Director of Rural Development, Engineer Mohamed Abu-Komeel, attended the season's inauguration ceremony on a grape farm in the south of Gaza along with several other officials. He pointed out that this is the fifth consecutive year that the Gaza Strip will be self-sufficient in grapes and other agricultural produce. "This was the ministry's target to protect food security in the besieged Strip," he said.
Abu-Komeel expressed his happiness at the yield from Gaza's farms this year, which have around 1,700 acres of land planted with grapevines. "I don't think that we will need to import grapes," he said, noting that the government seeks to protect Palestinian farmers and their produce.
"Thanks to many joint efforts," he added, "the grapes ripen earlier every year and are available at very reasonable prices."
Farmer Hammad Aradeh said that a quarter of an acre of grapevines normally produces from two and a half to three tons of fruit. If there was better irrigation, he said, the yield would be higher: "The land suffers from a water shortage." He called for the Ministry of Agriculture to help farmers to solve the water issue.