In Gaza, the local healthcare system is overstretched, underfunded and deeply impacted by over a decade of blockade. We have been providing surgical and post-surgical assistance to victims of burns and trauma in Gaza for almost 15 years.
In 2018, we began offering reconstructive and orthopaedic surgery, dressing changes, physiotherapy, health education and psychosocial support to thousands of Gazans injured in the Great March of Return protests. Many have complex and severe wounds that require repeated surgical interventions, treatment for infections and intense levels of follow-up and rehabilitation.
In the West Bank, occupation, violence, unemployment and poverty continue to have a profound impact on the mental health of Palestinians. Our teams offer psychological support in Hebron, Nablus, Qalqilya and Tubas. In late 2020, we also began to run mobile clinics to provide healthcare in remote communities in Hebron district.
Our teams are currently responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Our activities in 2020 in Palestine
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
The health system in Gaza has been crippled by the 10-year-long Israeli blockade and, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, was struggling to meet patient needs, due to severe shortages of essential medical equipment and supplies.
MSF continues to provide orthopaedic care in Al-Awda hospital, in the north, and post-operative care, for both children and adults, at our outpatient clinics. Services include physiotherapy and mental health counselling to help patients through long and painful treatment processes. We also run several projects in Gaza dedicated to the treatment of bone infection caused by violent trauma. In 2020 we opened a new one at Nasser hospital, in the south.
We supported Ministry of Health teams in the European hospital when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, donating oxygen concentrators and offering training on oxygen management, patient support and intensive care.
The West Bank
To support the overstretched health services in Hebron during the pandemic, MSF provided technical advice and training to hospital staff on personal protective equipment (PPE), infectious waste management, infection and prevention control, oxygen therapy and intensive care in Dura and Alia hospitals, two facilities treating COVID-19 patients.
The occupation and associated violence continue to have a profound impact on the mental health of Palestinians. Our teams offered psychological support in Hebron, Nablus and Qalqilya, adapting activities to respond to needs related to COVID-19, with remote counselling by phone temporarily replacing in-person support sessions. We extended our services to treat COVID-19 patients and their families, distributed hygiene kits and PPE, including face masks, and conducted health promotion activities in the most at-risk communities.
In late 2020, we began to run mobile clinics to provide healthcare in remote communities in the south of Hebron district.