Want to send emergency medical resources?
The emergency services in Gaza are incredibly depleted due to Israel’s siege and refusal to let through even minimally sufficient supplies of anything, even emergency medical resources. People are currently dying due to a lack of everything. After Israel’s deliberate targeting of medical facilities and emergency vehicles during the Dec 08/Jan 09 attacks, things got even worse.
Kathleen and Gillian are paramedics who work on emergency ambulances in England and New Zealand respectively. Both have previously been involved in human rights work at home and abroad, including the West Bank. In true Defend The Rescuers spirit they have arranged sabbaticals, covered their own expenses, then fundraised to bring medical kit in person to their fellow rescuers in Gaza, arriving March 9th. This is the most reliable way to get anything in currently. They write:
“We had the total honour of handing over a donation of medical supplies to the director of the Red Crescent in Gaza, Dr Khaleel Abu Alfol. The supplies included two complete ‘response bags’ ( jump packs) for ambulances and a stack of miscellaneous hospital kit including stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers, ET tubes, airway adjuncts, forceps, bag valve masks, suture kits, thermometers and suctioning equipment. While it wasn’t a huge amount, we had managed to bring in equipment which is currently unavailable in Gaza; including suction handles and universal suction tubing which appeared to impress Dr Khaleel and his staff. These medical supplies will be shared through multiple departments in Al Quds hospital and will undoubtedly go to good use. At least one of the response bags will be used in an EMT training course which is beginning in a week or so. Massive thanks again to everyone who donated! We still have a stack of gear which will be shared with other organisations.” You can follow their blog here.
Please let us know if you are travelling to Gaza (whether with an organisation or not) and can carry anything from a small to a large amount, or if you have equipment to donate, as we would be glad to help link people up. Since the Viva Palestina Convoys and Free Gaza Boats no longer have access to Gaza we have no good route for large donations so are currently dependent on individuals offering to take in an extra bag. This is still useful as if you look at the request list below, you’ll see quite a lot of useful things can be fitted in a bag! We would also like to send good quality headtorches and long life batteries (neither readily available in Gaza) as these will be of great use to rescuers – during Operation Cast Lead, some medics had to resort to using the light from their mobiles to look for the injured.
If your organisation can fundraise for equipment, or donate existing equipment, we are considering the best ways to get it into Gaza. We would love the opportunity to put you in touch with our Gaza emergency worker friends so they will know something is arriving for them, and then to arrange for the goods to travel with Viva Palestina. You could also consider applying to travel with them and deliver it yourself! One UK ambulance made it to Gaza in the last Viva Palestina convoy and we’d love to see more stocked up ambulances head out there in December 2009.
Here is a short list of some of the requests we’ve had while volunteering in Gaza.
Ministry of Health Medics, Jabalia:
Nine large floodlight torches
Training for drivers
Radios and dispatch system
Training for new equipment – boards and chairs
Red Crescent Medics:
200 pen lights (for ears,nose and throat checking)
500 glucose gel strips for hypo-glycemia
200 electric themometers
150 pairs of clothes cutting scissors
20 portable ventilators
50 needle destroyers
15 portable monitors – pro-packs – electronic blood-pressure/heart rate
LEFT HAND SIDE DRIVE ambulances are also greatly appreciated. Right hand side drive ones are difficult for ambulance drivers used to the other side, when they are doing high speed driving and maneuvering. However RH drive better than none!
Give the medics back their stuff!
On June 30 2009, Israel stole the Free Gaza boat Spirit of Humanity, and her cargo, and kidnapped her passengers and crew. Passengers and crew were freed after several days, but the stolen boat and cargo remain in Israel currently.
The cargo included about 750 euros worth of donated equipment collected by Defend the Rescuers campaigners, including 6 professional searchlights for hand-held use or attaching to ambulances, 12 army-quality hand-held flashlights, 40 flourescent vests, flourescent strips and material for paramedic uniforms. We’ve never had it confirmed what happened to it all…