Date: 04 Jan 2021
The International Commission (ICSPR) demands the speedy provision of laboratory test materials (P.K.U) for newborns.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) followed with great concern the announcement of Dr. Ayman Al-Halabi; Director-General of Medical Support Services at the Ministry of Health in Gaza, regarding the depletion of the P.K.U laboratory test for newborns. This examination is performed for children during the first week of birth in order to determine the level of amino acids necessary for the growth and formation of the brain and the development of cognition, which is known as “phenyl ketone”.
The dangerous developments come in light of the high percentage of shortages of medicines, supplies and medical equipment at the Ministry of Health to nearly 45%, and a shortfall of 65% in laboratory supplies and blood banks, as well as the difficulties in providing the necessary oxygen to patients infected with the Coronavirus, due to the continuation of the Israeli siege and the irregular supply of medicines and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, in addition to the modesty of international aid.
ICSPR expresses its fear of the dangerous repercussions of the current crises in the Gaza Strip, and warns of the negative repercussions on the health of newborns after the depletion of the PKU laboratory test material, which will lead – according to the Ministry of Health – to delay the process of diagnosis and examination for newborns, which may cause serious complications to the health of children, including mental retardation. Therefore, ICSPR calls on and appeals to the international community, international agencies and institutions to act urgently to provide laboratory testing materials for newborns.