Qatar's Red Crescent donates cancer drugs to Gaza hospitals
Akram Nassar, head of QRCS' office in Gaza, said in a press statement that his organisation has provided at least 21 types of chemotherapy drugs that were required permanently.
"The new intervention came to ensure the continuity of treatment services for the patients with breast cancer at Gaza hospitals," he said, adding that it "aims at maintaining treatment and preventing treatment protocol disruptions".
Costing $864,000, the official confirmed that the new medical aid came as a part of the project to provide treatment and rehabilitation services for patients with breast cancer.
Since 2007, the coastal enclave, home to more than two million people, has been put under a tight Israeli blockade after Hamas won the 2006 legislative elections.
In its blockade, Israel banned the entry of several kinds of materials, which it alleged was used for "making weapons". Among these were the medical supplies and equipment.
Zikri Abu Qamar, Ashraf Abu Mhadi, director-general of pharmacy at Gaza health ministry, told The New Arab that the impoverished coastal enclave has been suffering from medical shortages, mainly for the treatment of cancer patients.
"The new Qatari intervention helps our ministry reduce shortage rates to 30%, by securing the treatment services for about 1,400 patients with breast cancer," he said.
"Breast cancer is one of the most widespread cancers in Gaza, with 300 new cases recorded annually," he said. "This generous donation helps reduce the rates of referrals for treatment abroad."
For two years, QRCS has paid great attention to the health interventions for cancer treatment in Gaza by carrying out several projects to provide drugs for cancer patients.
In addition, it has funded specialised research projects that focus on cancer risks and how to improve therapeutic and diagnostic services. The total cost of the project was about $2.5 million.