Update on the Medical intervention services for vulnerable groups in the Gaza Strip

Primary health care services for sick children:

Caritas medical outreach team has provided services to 1613 children under 12 years old since the start of the project in October 2016.

Children in the outreach areas are more vulnerable to common diseases than other children in the Gaza Strip, this is caused mainly by the environmental effects of life in the marginalized areas. One particular challenge is access to clean water. Gaza strip relies heavily on the underground aquifer which has been depleted over the years. Also in many areas, including the outreach areas Caritas operates in, the aquifer is contaminated and not suitable for human use. Through the project, the medical outreach team treats many children suffering from infections related to contaminated waters, for example, abdominal pain, intestinal infections, and other types of diseases. Also, as part of the nutritional awareness sessions, Caritas nutritionist instructs parents on how to insure that the water supply at the household is clean and safe for use of children.

Antenatal health care to pregnant women:

Caritas medical outreach team has provided antenatal healthcare services to a total of 829 pregnant women since the start of the project in October 2016.

Through the project, Caritas Jerusalem will provide pregnant women with high quality services they usually don’t get at free medical service providers i.e. government or UNRWA. The services include periodical ultrasound scans for mothers, regular follow up with Caritas gynecologist, and in case of infections, the required antibiotics and treatment will be provided all free of charge. In addition, as value added service, nutritional awareness sessions will be provided for all mothers in the program. Through the sessions,  Caritas nutritionist will introduce special diets for the pregnant women and will teach the women how to care for their newborns once they deliver.

So far, by the end of May 2017, 217 women have already given birth and have received their baby layettes. More women are expected to give birth in the upcoming months.

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Health care services to patients of NCDs (hypertension, and Diabetes):

Caritas medical outreach team has provided screening and treatment for common NCDs (hypertension, and diabetes) for all residents over 40 years old of the three localities reaching 1133 NCDs patients since the start of the project in October 2016.

Furthermore, patients with diabetes will be provided with a free blood sugar testing device, and will be instructed on how to use it.

Through this service, Caritas will work on spreading awareness to residents of marginalized areas about the prevention and control of NCDs.

Nutritional education and awareness:

All beneficiaries of the medical outreach services will also be targeted with awareness sessions for nutrition.

Caritas nutritionist will work with groups of patients and provide awareness through sessions. The patients will be categorized by disease type or condition, to provide more relevant awareness sessions. Furthermore, since the sessions are for awareness, they will be open for all residents of the area to attend and benefit from the information provided. In addition to the group sessions, the nutritionist will also provide personal guidance and one-on-one sessions with patients who require special dietary needs. The nutritionist will help the patients design a dietary system that suits their needs.

So far, the nutritionist has targeted 3,470 beneficiaries broken down into the following

  • 1,706 persons attended sessions for sick children.
  • 814 pregnant women attended sessions for antenatal nutritional care.
  • 950 NCDs patients attended sessions for special dietary needs of NCDs

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