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New Supply of Covid-19 Therapies Arrives in Gaza

Medicine was donated by Merck and provided by Direct Relief to Anera to support the health system.



Covid-19 therapies arrived recently for patients at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Dr. Kifah Toman, pictured here, is director of the central pharmaceuticals department at the Ministry of Health and said the medications will support the local health system experiencing shortages. (Anera photo)

A fifth wave of Covid-19 has hit the Gaza Strip. To make matters worse, there’s a chronic shortage of medicines that makes it harder to provide proper treatment for patients in Gaza. The continuing blockade of Gaza severely impacts the supply of drugs to fight the pandemic and other maladies.

To help ease the burden, Direct Relief has provided a new medical aid shipment of molnupiravir for Gaza, which Anera has delivered to Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s principal medical center. Molnupiravir is used to treat mild to moderate cases of Covid-19 in patients who are at risk for developing a more serious illness.

The treatment helps relieve symptoms and help prevent fatalities. The shipment included 39,920 capsules, which the Ministry of Health needs for more developed protocols of antiviral drugs to combat Covid-19.

Dr. Kifah Toman, director of the central pharmaceuticals department at the Ministry of Health in Gaza. (Anera photo)

Dr. Kifah Toman is the director of the central pharmaceuticals department at the Ministry of Health. “We’re relieved and happy that the drug was delivered to Shifa Hospital and to pulmonologists,” he said. The medicines are also available to other physicians as an optional treatment for Covid-19.

The Gaza physician said the dispensing of the drug depends on the age of the patient and the severity of the infection. The chronic shortage of medicines in Gaza is a major challenge for health providers.

Dr. Toman stressed the importance of continuing to supply vital medicines to Gaza hospitals, especially those dealing with epidemics like Covid-19. He added that treating some of the hospital’s patients requires medications often in short supply, including vitamins and intravenous medicines for nutrition.

Pharmacists sort medicines at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The hospital recently received therapies for Covid-19 patients, donated by Direct Relief. (Anera photo)

Editor’s note: This article was originally published by Anera here. Direct Relief’s donation of molnupiravir to Anera was made possible via a contribution from Merck & Co. Since January 1, 2022, Direct Relief has provided Anera with nearly 9 million doses of medication totaling more than 75 tons to support their humanitarian efforts in Gaza and throughout the region.

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