40 tonnes Bahrain medical aid on way for Gaza
Manama, July 17, 2014
A first shipment of 40 tonnes of medicines and medical equipment is expected to leave Bahrain for Gaza within the next 48 hours.
The cargo will include surgical equipment, intravenous fluids, medications and bandages, announced Health Ministry hospital affairs assistant under-secretary Dr Waleed Al Manea yesterday, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
A designated committee is now overseeing the procurement, packing and freight, he told the GDN.
"We have approached private pharmacies and a few of them have committed to provide us with what is needed," said Dr Al Manea.
"Apart from this we will also look into the available stock with the Health Ministry."
Meanwhile, Royal Charity Organisation secretary-general Dr Mustafa Al Sayed said negotiations were taking place with airlines to secure a plane to transport the aid. He added it would be delivered to a hospital in Gaza that was built with money donated from Bahrain, but which was currently facing shortages.
The plan is to transport supplies by plane to Egypt and from there by road to Gaza, which has been pounded by deadly missile strikes by Israel for more than a week - killing more than 200 people.
Meanwhile, the Bahrain Committee for Solidarity with Palestinian People in Gaza Strip, chaired by RCO secretary-general Dr Mustafa Al Sayed, will oversee the major fundraising initiative launched under the leadership of RCO board of trustees chairman Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Representatives of hundreds of charity organisations, businesses, civil and religious societies met on Tuesday to co-ordinate efforts.
King Hamad has already announced a $5 million donation to aid people in Gaza and this will be supplemented with funds collected during the campaign.
The initiative is also being supported by the Health and Social Development Ministries, as well as the Bahrain Medical Society and the Bahrain Red Crescent Society (BRCS).
"We aim towards a collective effort from all axes of society and the support extended by societies, soon after we called for a meeting, was overwhelming," Dr Al Sayed told the GDN on the sidelines of a Press conference at the Sheraton Hotel yesterday.
"Our aim is to serve those in distress and save lives. We represent Bahrain as a team.
"The $5 million donation from His Majesty is the opening amount in the account and we call for more donations. To quote Shaikh Nasser: 'Every dinar counts.'
"The societies like the BRCS work in such situations independently, but in this case, we urge them to complement us with their expertise so that we reach out as quickly as possible and minimise expenses in helping the people who are suffering."
"We are handling public money and we need to be transparent, hence we have set up sub-committees to monitor," he said.
Health Ministry hospital affairs assistant under-secretary Dr Waleed Al Manea said efforts are underway to ensure basic needs, including medical requirements, for the Palestinian people as soon as possible.
People will be able to donate funds in charity boxes that will be set up at Seef Mall and Bahrain City Centre.
A telethon will also be hosted on Bahrain Television tomorrow from 3pm until midnight. - TradeArabia News Service