Imagine you were critically injured and taken to an emergency room that doesn’t even have the most basic medical supplies: sutures to sew up wounds, sterile gauze for dressings. Trained doctors and other medical professionals are there to help save your life and heal your wounds, but the lack of basic supplies prevents them from doing their job.
This is a scenario most of us will never face, of course, but it is the grim reality for many Palestinians in Gaza. This is why the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is bringing much-needed medical supplies to Gaza on our boats departing from Palermo next week – and you can help us do more.
Medical facilities in Gaza have been overwhelmed with injuries to treat, particularly over the last three months since the Israeli Occupation Forces began firing on unarmed demonstrators at the Great March of Return. Thousands of seriously wounded Palestinians require urgent medical care, and there are not enough sterile trauma supplies to treat them all properly. Even the simplest, most basic supplies are not available in sufficient quantities.
Take gauze for example. As one of our medical colleagues pointed out, historically gauze was named for Gaza, the medieval city where this delicate fabric came from. Nowadays, sterile gauze is needed for dressing wounds, like those inflicted by Israeli Occupation Forces’ snipers – but there is not enough gauze in Gaza to treat all the wounded who need dressings.
Whilst in Italy the FFC and its partners gathered 13,000 Euros worth of medical supplies including gauze and sutures. These 114 boxes of medical supplies which were delivered to Al Awda (The Return) and ‘Freedom‘ were loaded aboard by local and international volunteers (see video and photos). They included three kinds sterile gauze packs and two sizes of sutures, both desperately needed according to medical colleagues in Gaza. See below for information about how to donate, or follow this link. If we receive enough funds before we sail next week, we will put even more supplies on board our Flotilla boats bound for Gaza.
Before sailing we prepared a complete inventory and have sealed each box: whatever happens, we will insist that our complete manifest of everything on board must be delivered to Palestinian hospitals in Gaza where it is needed.
Of course, we know that everything we can bring by sea will be no more than a drop in the bucket, compared with the huge and ongoing medical needs in Gaza today. We received the full list of medications needed in Palestinian hospitals in Gaza for the next three months, and it is staggering. It includes many delicate and heat-sensitive medications that we cannot risk shipping by sea.
The only sustainable way to ensure that Palestinians in Gaza receive the medical treatment they deserve is to end the blockade, permanently and unconditionally. When Palestinians achieve full freedom of movement as set out in international law, they will no longer need international aid.
That is why the Freedom Flotilla sails to end the blockade of Gaza: for the right to a just future for Palestine.
To support our 2018 mission, you can donate to any one of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition campaigns by following the links below. If you want to donate specifically for medical supplies, please note “medical supplies” with your donation.