(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) By Wessam Abuzayed
GAZA, Feb 14 (KUNA) -- Despite the 12 years of the suffocating Israeli blockade, a factory in the Gaza Strip defied this inhumane act via the mass production of quality medicine that covers the needs of the Health Ministry and its patients.
Meters from the town of Beit Hanoun, near the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, the medicine factory -- referred to as the Middle East medicine production company -- continued to put out over a hundred brands of medicine to patients while the hardship of the blockade continues.
Speaking to KUNA on the company's efforts Director Marwan Al-Astal said that his establishment -- founded in 1994 -- faced many obstacles throughout the years, namely the 2003 Israeli bombardment of its facilities, leading to a three-month halt of operations.
Currently, the company distributes medicine for local consumption, said Al-Astal who indicated that the company also deals with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and provides it with its need of products.
He added that in 1999, the company's production line consisted of liquid medicine and capsules, revealing that in 2002, the production line was developed to include cosmetics, medicine for children, and remedies for diabetes and heart disease.
On the challenges facing the company, Al-Astal said that the obvious problem was how to beat the Israeli blockade so that the products would reach consumers beyond the Gaza Strip, indicating that prior to 2007, the company used to export to the West Bank.
Regarding other dilemmas facing the company, head of the company's laboratories Wedad Al-Qeeq said that raw materials take around nine months to enter the Gaza Strip due to the blockade.
She indicated that the company usually orders huge amounts of raw material to cover the production needs; however, such maneuver has a negative impact on their finances.
Al-Qeeq expressed her pride in working the premier medicine company, which continues to successfully operate in opposition of the unjust Israeli policies and aggression. (end) wab.gta