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MADRE's sister organization in Gaza outlines 12 month plan to address massive medical and humanitarian crisis left by invasion

Posted on: Monday, January 19, 2009

Keywords: Palestine, Israel, Peace Building, Middle East, Emergency Relief, Gaza

While the bombardment of Gaza is currently halted, the impact of a month of ceaseless violence against women and families is catastrophic. MADRE's sister organization, the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, has assessed the most critical needs of the population and prepared a detailed report on their immediate plans to address them. This section summarizes our partner's initial strategy:


Palestinian Medical Relief Society


A Population under Fire

Emergency Response to the Humanitarian Crisis Resulting from Large Scale Violence and Attacks Targeting the Gaza Strip


Proposed Activities


Activity 1: Individual Relief and the Rehabilitation of Injured People
Many civilians have been affected by the attacks in a variety of ways. Some have been severely injured, others have lost their houses and all property, are incapable of supporting themselves and their families in their primary needs. Therefore, PMRS will facilitate these problems by providing individual relief through an expansion of the capacity of its clinics.
Individual relief will take place in the form of:
a.    Provision of primary life commodities such as food, blankets, and a refuge to escape the cold winter conditions.
b.    Rehabilitation of injured people by providing medical aid and medication.
c.    Rehabilitation of destroyed houses.
Activity 2: First Aid
The Gaza health system is in a state of collapse and cannot provide an adequate response to the growing needs. As all crossings have been closed and patients and wounded persons cannot find treatment elsewhere, an immediate and increased need for First Aid services has erupted. PMRS will extend these services by:
1.    Ensuring the 24-hour availability of emergency ambulances by purchasing and additional ambulance.
2.    Ensuring the 24-hour availability of First Aid services by hiring five additional ambulance teams.
3.    Purchasing additional First Aid kits.
4.    Training volunteers by upgrading their skills through refresher courses.
Activity 3: Medical Supplies

Stocks of essential medications are exhausted or low, and the availability of medical supplies and laboratory materials in Gaza is restricted due to high demand during recent violence in Gaza and border closures which have prevented suppliers from importing renewed stocks. PMRS will ensure the availability of essential medications by:
1.    Replenishing and sustaining stocks at PMRS' Central Pharmacy in the Gaza Strip.
2.    The Central Pharmacy will dispense medications and supplies to PMRS' 4 primary healthcare clinics, 2 mobile clinics, and 2 ambulances.
Activity 4: Psychosocial Assistance

The scene of death, destruction, blood and amputated bodies has traumatized people and will have a lasting impact on the psychosocial wellbeing of all those Gazans who have been witnessing the impact of the military offensive. If this is left unattended, it can have a very high impact on recovery and rebuilding efforts.
PMRS wants to step up its psychosocial services by:
1.    Providing community based psycho social assistance to war victims.
2.    Capacity building for existing PMRS staff in community based psychosocial response.
3.    Hire additional social workers, health workers and community volunteers to provide psychosocial assistance.
4.    Provide professional psychiatric assistance for the needy people.


Target Areas & Beneficiaries


The project will be implemented in the Gaza Strip and will target the Gazan population as a whole.

Duration of the Project


The project will last for a period of 12 months.  


Organizational Background


Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) is a grassroots, community-based Palestinian health organization, founded in 1979 by a group of Palestinian doctors and health professionals seeking to supplement the decayed and inadequate health infrastructure caused by years of Israeli military occupation. PMRS seeks to improve the overall physical, mental, and social well being of all Palestinians, regardless of racial, political, social, economic or religious status. Our comprehensive health programs focus on the needs of the most vulnerable members of Palestinian society: women, children, and the poor in rural villages, refugee camps, and urban centres. PMRS national health programs emphasize prevention, education, community participation, and the empowerment of people. PMRS works in 490 communities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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