MdM contributes to the reconstruction effort of Gaza News

MdM contributes to the reconstruction effort of Gaza

MdM contributes to the reconstruction effort of Gaza

Since August 12, Doctors of the World – Médecins du monde (MdM) has run activities aiming to help Palestinians rebuild the health system in Gaza strip, and most importantly, rebuild themselves. The 50-day-long war in Gaza left a land of desolation. Much needs to be done to put Gazans, the Gaza strip and its health care system back onto their feet.

The “Protective Edge” Israeli military offensive launched on July 8 resulted in more than 2,000 casualties, more than 100,000 displacements, and widespread destruction of infrastructure. The health sector was also severely affected: 13 hospitals and 58 Primary Health Care Centers (PHCC) were damaged. Many Palestinians have been injured, and many others bear the signs of trauma left by the war.

Through three mobile clinics, MdM France provides primary health care,mental health services as well as education to health to the most vulnerable Palestinians in some of the most devastated areas where the health facilities have been completely destroyed. One clinic travels to public schools serving as shelters in Gaza city and Juhr El Deek area, and two other clinics are stationed in Khuza’a and Al Fukhari. Since the beginning of this operation, 6,208 patients have received care. In addition to that, MdM supports one PMRS mobile clinic in Beit Hanoun area, in the north of the Gaza Strip. MdM is also evaluting the repairs needed for five clinics that were completely or severely destroyed during the war.

Doctors of the World works in collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. “All our actions are done following its recommendations and often implemented in partnership with our Palestinian partners such as Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA), Palestinian Medical Relief Service (PMRS), and SAWA, which is supported both by MdM France and MdM Switzerland” explains Owen Breuil, MdM General Coordinator in Jerusalem.

In addition, vouchers worth 300 shekel/80 dollars are being distributed to 600 families for the purchase of medical and hygiene items such as soap and diapers. “We chose this approach because it is flexible and adapted to the real needs of the population. With these vouchers they are free to buy what items they really want. Their right to choose is not impacted, neither their dignity which is very important for them and so for us” says Thibault Larose, Field Coordinator in Gaza city.

MdM Spain supports Gaza hospitals, including al-Shifa hospital: an MdM surgeon has supported fifty surgical operations, and a second plastic surgeon is currently doing reconstructive surgery in the hospital. MdM staff has held seventeen psychosocial support sessions with an attendance of one hundred seventy three medical staff working in emergency rooms, operating rooms and rescue teams. These sessions are designed to reinforce their resilience and capacity to support the local population.

MdM contributes to the reconstruction effort of Gaza through its various and complementary actions: physical and mental care as well as support to health professionals and structures. However, this destruction-reconstruction spiral in Gaza strip has to come to an end. MdM stresses the need for this reconstruction to be sustainable and permanent: Palestinians and the Palestinian health care system must be respected, not attacked.

Notes to Editors:

MdM is an international humanitarian organisation that provides medical care to the most vulnerable populations affected by war, natural disasters, diseases, famine, poverty and exclusion with programs in 79 countries around the world.

MdM is part of an international network comprising 15 MdM organisations. In the Gaza strip, MdM France, Spain and Switzerland run health care projects aiming to rebuild Gazans and their communities. In the West Bank, MdM France and Switzerland work together to minimise the medical and mental health impact of the conflict on the Palestinian population by implementing mental health projects and monitoring settlers’ violence in Nablus governorate. MdM Switzerland also works in Hebron as well as MdM Spain in Jericho both in the mental health sector. Moreover, Doctors of the World bear witness to the violations of the right to health.