Palestinians face another winter without basic healthcare

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Thousands of Palestinians living with life-threatening and chronic health conditions are bracing themselves for yet another winter without access to the most basic healthcare. From cancer patients and the elderly to those with long-term disabilities, the lives of those in urgent need of treatment will be at even more risk as the winter months set in. For thousands of Palestinians, this adds yet another layer of insecurity to their lives, in a place where the health sector is already on the brink of collapse.

  • More than a third of all essential medicines and medical disposables are currently at zero stock level in Gaza
  • The energy crisis has resulted in 18 month waiting times for patients with serious and life-threatening conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.
  • Health care within refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank continues to be inadequate, under-resourced and unaffordable for many refugees.

It is an everyday reality that families must choose to stay unwell or suffer so that they can pay rent or have enough to eat. Winter only makes things worse, and coping with physical pain is impossible when your hope cannot protect you from the cold, or when you do not have the right clothes or nutrition.

For the elderly, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, and for young children, winter can be deadly. The risk of floods not only displaces people and damages homes, but it causes further financial loss and trauma. In the refugee camps, the rain brings the danger or electrocution as the poor infrastructure means electricity cables remain exposed or damaged. With few hours of daylight, families are forced to use candles for light and warmth, but these are a hazard and have led to deaths and injuries, especially for children.

Winter makes people more vulnerable and that is why Interpal implements winter aid support every year. With your help, Interpal can provide fuel, food parcels, financial aid for shelter, blankets and heaters to over 5000 Palestinian families. Crucially, £150 can provide medical aid to a vulnerable person suffering from illness or disability.

For more information, visit www.interpal.org or call 020 8961 9993.