Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A boy who needs to see the doctor - Catch 22

Ahmed (a pseudonym) , a teenager from Gaza who suffers from a genetic, potentially life-threatening disease, is trying to get a permit to come into Israel for a doctor's appointment. The medical facilities in Gaza are not equipped to help him. The doctors at the Israeli hospital, experts in diagnosis and treatment of the disease, are willing to see him and hope to help him.

His cousin, who would accompany him (she is the only one in their family who knows English, feels comfortable and knowledgable in crossing over from Gaza, taking him to the hospital, navigating the hospital, and getting the information from the Israeli doctors to take back to Ahmed's parents), has been trying for weeks to get them the permits for the appointment scheduled for the end of July.

So far, she has met with frustration, run-arounds, much bureaucratic red tape, but no permits.
She has tried getting support from the PNA, but they couldn't/wouldn't help.
She tried getting help from some Israeli NGOs, but they did not return her calls.
She tried going through the channels that she usually uses (she has another cousin with the same disease who has been treated at the Israeli hospital for over a year), but was not given permission for this second case in her family.
Each organization sends her back to start the process over again, to get more documents, to try elsewhere.

She has a large (and growing) pile of official documents - medical and financial - that prove that there is a real need, for a real boy, who has a family with a real ability to pay for the trip and the medical fees, IF they can ONLY get to the hospital, to have the diagnosis, to begin getting the treatment...

We at Other Voice (www.othervoice.org ) have been trying to help her and Inshalla, our letter of support and our personal requests to Physicians for Human Rights (www.phr.org.il ) , will help this teen get the help he needs.

Help he needs to live.

Ahmed is a teenager. His whole life should be ahead of him.
His cousin/family should not need to meet endless red tape to get him the medical help he needs, and that is available here.

This is but ONE example of why the siege is morally wrong, and is mainly harming people who have nothing to do with terror attacks, with Gilad Shalit's capture, with the Hamas government. This is but one personal story of a boy and his cousin who are trying to get to the doctor. To a doctor and a medical staff that are willing and hopeful about helping him.

The siege is collectively punishing innocent people. The siege is making it very difficult, if not impossible for Ahmed to get help. To live.


Ahmed - hang in there; we hope that help is coming...

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