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Gaza hospitals overloaded with expired drugs

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are overloaded with expired drugs and medicines, Palestinian officials said.

world Updated: Jul 23, 2010 08:08 IST

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are overloaded with expired drugs and medicines, Palestinian officials said.

The officials insisted on Thursday that the drugs and medicines, which were donated to the Gaza Strip by aid organisations all over the world over the last two years, had expired, Xinhua reported.

Only 30 percent of the medical aid, sent to Gaza after the last Israeli military offensive 19 months ago, were used at hospitals and medical aid centres, an official in the Hamas-ruled ministry of health said.

The official said that several countries as well as civil society organisations sent to the Gaza Strip huge amount of medical aid, which included drugs, medicines and equipment.

"Such random donations, mainly drugs had caused lots of problems," he said. "22 percent of the medical aid sent to the Gaza Strip had its date expired, where different kinds of medical donations were not helpful for medical emergency and medical care."

Officials in the ministry of health declined to reveal the names of the countries and organisations that sent expired drugs and medicines to the Gaza Strip over the past 19 months.

Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has a population of 1.5 million people, after Islamic Hamas movement seized control of the costal enclave by force in 2007. Gaza rights groups said that around 300 patients died over the past three years due to medical aid shortage.