Caritas Jerusalem continues to be alarmed at the ongoing deterioration of the health situation in the Palestinian Territories. Hospitals have been especially hard hit and those with chronic health problems requiring regular treatment are especially at risk. One recent intervention by Caritas took place at the Dialysis Unit at the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, a 600 bed facility with some 1,400 staff members. It has been particularly hard hit due to the closure of Gaza, the disruption in electrical services and the inability of the Palestinian governmental sector to meet its financial obligations. Diabetics are one group that has suffered dramatically of late in Gaza. Under normal circumstances, they have to go to the hospital at least three times per week to undertake dialysis treatment. Unfortunately, dialysis machines are sensitive medical devices that require regular monitoring and maintenance. Due to the situation in Gaza, many vital medical devices have not been functioning because of a lack of regular maintenance. This is what took place at the Dialysis Unit in the Al Shifa Hospital. "The Dialysis department in the hospital was almost totally paralysed," said Jameel Khoury, Caritas Jerusalem's Health Department Manager. He said: "There were eight dialysis machines out of order in the department. This directly affected 370 people who were not able to have their vitally needed regular dialysis treatment. " "Caritas Jerusalem helped the Al Shifa Hospital by repairing these machines. Now these 370 diabetics have access to this life saving treatment. We wish to thank the many contributors to the SOA 9/2006 project who have made this intervention possible." "
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