No end to pain of Gaza cancer patients

Special No end to pain of Gaza cancer patients
The King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) in Amman, Jordan. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Updated 05 October 2022

No end to pain of Gaza cancer patients

No end to pain of Gaza cancer patients
  • Patients who cannot get treatment in Gaza need a medical referral from the Ministry of Health and an Israeli permit to travel to hospitals in the West Bank or Israel
  • According to the MoH in Gaza, the travel bans and the delay in implementing treatment protocols for cancer patients led to the death of more than 3,000 people in the past five years

GAZA CITY: Ensaf Abu Jajouh’s suffering began in 2014 when she discovered that she had breast cancer.

Her treatment in Gaza was not easy, and the disease came back three times as she battled to get the medicine she needed, leading her to travel to Jordan for care in 2021.

“I was shocked when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had no knowledge of its nature or how to treat it. I didn’t know if I would survive it or if it was the way to the end,” Abu Jajouh, 45, a mother of two daughters, told Arab News.

“There was a shortage of medicine in the Gaza Strip, and after the disease emerged for the second time, I was unable to get treatment for four months, which brought the disease back again, the doctors in Jordan told me.”

Her story is similar to many others in Gaza, which suffers severe shortages of cancer medicines due to the Israeli blockade, and the political division between Hamas and Fatah.

Abu Jajouh was able to get help at the King Hussein Cancer Center in Jordan with the assistance of local institutions. But many others facing the same disease do not share her fortune.

She said: “A cancer patient suffers from physical pain, in addition to the hardships of the treatment journey, the fear of not being fully cured, and the agony in society. I separated from my husband because he did not accept my illness in the first year.

“I may be a little lucky in my latest treatment journey, but most women are not,” she added.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health recorded 363 cases of breast cancer in Gaza last year, which is 18.5 percent of the total number of cancer patients.

The disease is on the rise, with 300 cases in 2018, 309 in 2019, and 324 in 2020. The death rate has also risen, to 13 percent.

Iman Shanan, director of the Aid and Hope Foundation for Cancer Patients, told Arab News that the Gaza Strip lacked a comprehensive national program for breast cancer screening.

“Breast cancer patients in Gaza suffer from many problems, the most important of which is the lack of complete and regular treatment, and there is no radiation therapy in the Gaza Strip, in addition to the lack of plastic surgery.

“Awareness may increase among women, but there are no fixed campaigns and a clear program for all official and private institutions to educate women about early detection, not to mention the suffering of patients in obtaining treatment permits in hospitals in the West Bank or abroad,” Shanan said.

Patients who cannot get treatment in Gaza need a medical referral from the Ministry of Health and an Israeli permit to travel to hospitals in the West Bank or Israel. Less than half of those permits are granted, however, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian Territories.

In a statement, the UN office said: “Patients referred for medical treatment in the West Bank or Israel and their companions accounted for approximately 7 percent of departures. A total of 2,067 applications for exit permits were submitted to attend medical appointments in August, but only 42 percent were approved in time.”

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the travel bans and the delay in implementing treatment protocols for cancer patients led to the death of more than 3,000 people in the past five years, including cases that were treatable and showing recovery signs.


Palestinians say man killed during Israeli raid in West Bank

Palestinians say man killed during Israeli raid in West Bank
Updated 38 sec ago

Palestinians say man killed during Israeli raid in West Bank

Palestinians say man killed during Israeli raid in West Bank
  • It was the latest death in a recent surge of violence in the territory
  • Israeli military has been conducting daily raids throughout the West Bank since the spring
JERUSALEM: Palestinian health officials said a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli fire during a military raid in the occupied West Bank on Monday.
It was the latest death in a recent surge of violence in the territory. The Israeli military has been conducting daily raids throughout the West Bank since the spring.
The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said that soldiers entered the Deheishe refugee camp near the city of Bethlehem early on Monday, sparking clashes with a group of local residents. The soldiers then fired tear gas and opened fire at the crowd, it said.
The agency said Omar Manaa, 22, was killed, while six other Palestinians were wounded. Four people were arrested.
There was no immediate Israeli comment.
Rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions have made 2022 the deadliest year in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the long-running conflict since 2006. Further escalation appears likely, as the most right-wing and religious government in Israel’s history is poised to be installed in the coming weeks, with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returning to power.
More than 140 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting this year. The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting Israeli army incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.
Monday’s deadly shooting came against the backdrop of months of Israeli arrest raids in the West Bank, prompted by a spate of Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the spring that killed 19 people. The military says the raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks, but the Palestinians say they entrench Israel’s open-ended occupation, now in its 56th year. A recent wave of Palestinian attacks against Israeli targets killed an additional nine people.

UAE President commences Qatar visit

UAE President commences Qatar visit
Updated 17 min 58 sec ago

UAE President commences Qatar visit

UAE President commences Qatar visit
  • UAE among the Arab countries invited to attend the World Cup opening ceremony in Doha

DUBAI: UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan commenced his visit to Qatar on Monday, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The visit comes in response to an invitation from the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and builds on the existing brotherly relations between the two nations and their people, WAM added.

The two leaders would discuss bilateral ties and ways to enhance cooperation between the two Gulf states, said WAM.

The UAE was among the Arab countries invited to attend the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Doha.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE’s vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, represented the UAE among Arab leaders attending the opening ceremony of the global tournament.


Jailed Sudan ex-president Bashir transferred to hospital – lawyer

Jailed Sudan ex-president Bashir transferred to hospital – lawyer
Updated 05 December 2022

Jailed Sudan ex-president Bashir transferred to hospital – lawyer

Jailed Sudan ex-president Bashir transferred to hospital – lawyer

KHARTOUM: Former Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir has been moved from prison to hospital to complete some medical treatment, his lawyer Hashim Abu-Bakr said on Sunday.

The 78-year-old has been in custody while he is being tried over the 1989 coup that brought him to power. He was ousted in an uprising in 2019.

His lawyers had on Tuesday petitioned the court to transfer him to hospital, saying blood pressure and kidney issues posed a threat to his life if left untreated in prison.

Images of Bashir walking round a hospital ward caused controversy earlier this year.


Two killed as demonstrators storm governor’s office in southern Syria

Two killed as demonstrators storm governor’s office in southern Syria
Updated 59 min 15 sec ago

Two killed as demonstrators storm governor’s office in southern Syria

Two killed as demonstrators storm governor’s office in southern Syria
  • Syria’s pro-regime media said tens of ‘outlaws’ stormed the governor’s office

JEDDAH: Dozens of demonstrators angry over worsening economic conditions in Syria stormed and ransacked the governor’s office in the southern city of Sweida on Sunday, clashing with police, the authorities and witnesses said.

Earlier, more than 200 people had gathered around the building in the center of the Druze-majority city, chanting slogans calling for the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad, they said, amid spiraling prices and economic hardship.

“Down with Assad,” the crowd chanted. Anti-government protests in state-controlled areas in Syria are not tolerated and rare.

Syria’s pro-regime media said tens of “outlaws” stormed the governor’s office and burned files and official papers.

The Ministry of Interior said they had also tried to seize the city’s police headquarters, and that one policeman was killed in the ensuing clashes.

“We will pursue all the outlaws and take all legal measures against anyone who dares to undermine the security and stability of the province,” the regime’s statement said.

Three witnesses said the governor was not in the building which was vacated before protesters stormed and ransacked offices.

“The governor’s office was burnt completely from the inside,” said Rayan Maarouf, a civic activist and editor of Suwayda 24, a local website that covers the southern region, who said several people were wounded in the exchange of gunshots.

“There was heavy gunfire,” Maarouf said, saying it was not clear from where the shooting came in the heavily policed area.

A source in the city hospital said one civilian who was being treated had died from gunshot wounds while another was still in hospital after being shot.

Sweida province has been spared the violence seen in other parts of Syria since the start of the over-decade long conflict that began after pro-democracy protests erupted against Assad’s family rule were violently crushed by security forces.

The minority Druze sect, whose faith draws its roots from Islam, have long resisted being drawn into the Syrian conflict.

Many community leaders and top Druze religious leaders have refused to sanction enlistment in the army.

Syria is in the throes of a deep economic crisis where a majority of people after a devastating conflict that killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions struggle to afford food and basic goods.

Witnesses in Sweida said that once inside the building, demonstrators brought down pictures of Assad.


GCC education bureau to partner with Jordanian teaching academy

GCC education bureau to partner with Jordanian teaching academy
Updated 05 December 2022

GCC education bureau to partner with Jordanian teaching academy

GCC education bureau to partner with Jordanian teaching academy
  • Agreement outlines plans for joint professional development programs

RIYADH: Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Assimi, director general of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States, and Dr. Osama Obeidat, CEO of Jordan’s Queen Rania Teacher Academy, signed an agreement to strengthen partnership through teacher training, exchanging expertise and establishing joint programs for professional development, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday. 

The move is in line with the ABEGS framework on boosting cooperation with specialized organizations and institutions.