October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the coffee mornings at the Community Centre at St Augustine’s Church, Richmond Road, will be dedicated to raising awareness of the problems facing the women in Gaza. We will also be raising funds for the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, to help extend their education and screening program.
The Gaza strip is 25 miles long by about 7 miles wide and is home to some 1.8 million people. Three major conflicts in five years have led to massive levels of destruction and a devastated infrastructure – 90% of water is unsafe to drink and power cuts are currently lasting up to 20 hours a day. During this period, cancer rates have risen drastically in Gaza, which is particularly worrying for women, as breast cancer kills more women than any other form of cancer in there, and the five-year survival rates are less than half those in the UK.
Even after treatment is started there are huge difficulties due to the Israeli restrictions on supplies and the high cost of drugs, which often result in patients only being given four-weeks supply. This means the treatment is only partial, being either interrupted or ended early. Radiotherapy is not possible in Gaza as the necessary radioisotopes are forbidden by the Israeli authorities.
The consequences of all this are devastating with many women dying when their deaths are preventable; or living with the scars of medical techniques no longer practiced in the UK.
If you would like to join us for coffee, cake and a chat we will be open as usual, from 10:30 until 12:00 Monday, Wednesday & Friday with October’s proceeds going to this cause. For a week from 6th October we will also have a small exhibition at the centre giving more information about the situation and Al Ahli Arab Hospital.