Gaza’s heat wave poses challenges to pharmacists’ ability to store medicines

This week’s heatwave in the Gaza Strip, where temperatures have soared to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit in recent days, has not only made life unbearable for hundreds of thousands of displaced people trying to rebuild their lives in tent cities. , making people’s lives difficult. Several businesses to operate.

The heat had eased significantly by Saturday, with even milder temperatures forecast for the next few days. But recent highs showed what the summer is likely to be like.

“This hot climate is a challenge for us,” said Mohamed Fayyad, a displaced pharmacist who has started selling medicines from a tent he built from wooden planks, curtains and scrap metal in Al Mawashi camp. Told.

Fayyad, 32, said without electricity or alternative power sources, he is unable to store the medicines he buys from pharmacies that have been forced to close at temperatures high enough to prevent damage.

“Fifty percent of medicines for chronic diseases are not available because there is no power source to keep them cool,” Fayyad said at the makeshift pharmacy he named after his 3-year-old daughter Julia.

Fayyad is trying to find a way to generate electricity for the refrigerators that store medicines.

“We hope to find solar panels, which are very expensive, and expand the options for evacuees,” he said.

Fayyad and his wife and only daughter fled Khan Yunis, where they ran a pharmacy. They have been in Almahuasi for over two months. When they recently returned to Khan Yunis after Israeli forces withdrew from the area, he found the pharmacy set on fire and looted.

Nearly 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been forced to flee their homes following Israeli shelling and military evacuation orders. Many had little protection from the cold and rain in the early months of the war and now had to live in tents with no protection from the scorching heat and humid weather. .

Parents in the Gaza Strip rely on water to keep their children cool, even though access to water is already limited. Hot weather also brings insects that help spread disease.

“Children were bitten by insects and mosquitoes because there was no sanitation around and sewage leaked almost everywhere,” said Mohamed Abu Khattab, father of four children, including a 7-month-old. said. His family spends time outdoors in the shade of a nylon tent, but the heat builds up and makes the inside of the tent even more unbearable.

“We had to strip the children to their underwear,” said Abu Khattab, 33. “The tents, the heat waves, and the horrors of this war are all a nightmare. How can we keep our children healthy and safe?”

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