Medical intervention services updates

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In June 2017, Caritas medical outreach team continued their intervention in the three outreach areas in Gaza Strip. The main components of the intervention included:


Primary health care services for sick children:

Caritas medical outreach team has provided services to 1690 children under 12 years old since the start of the project in October 2016.

During summer vacation which usually starts in June, children prefer to play outdoors which lead them to become more vulnerable to diseases and minor injuries.

As part of this intervention, Caritas medical outreach team pays special attention to children who come with minor injuries and/or sunstrokes and provide them with proper treatment. They also instruct the parents to take better care of their children.

Antenatal health care to pregnant women:

Caritas medical outreach team has provided antenatal healthcare services to a total of 1,043 pregnant women since the beginning of the project in October 2016.

During June 2017, Caritas medical outreach team increased their efforts through the area facilitators to reach out to more pregnant women to be part of the program.

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Together through Better Health

IMG-20170515-WA0002I knew there was something wrong with me, but I was afraid of the high cost of treatment. The service I got at Caritas mobile clinic is a high quality service and free of charge. I hope it will continue.” Said Naser, one of the beneficiaries

Naser comes from a very poor family with limited access to health services since he lives in a marginalized area with the nearest medical care provider 30 minutes away by car. He works as a daily worker in agriculture with minimum income of NIS 250. Naser has a family of 6 members; all living in a  small house, all of his children have also dropped out of school.

When Naser first came to Caritas outreach medical clinic in Mawasi, he had already been diagnosed with Diabetes. The doctor screened him and found out that he is also suffering from high blood pressure (Hypertension) and his Blood sugar levels were very high.

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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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Updated Medical Intervention

yousef - malnourishedYousef is one of our beneficiaries who is healthy again. Yousef is only seven months old from Beach Camp in Gaza who lives with his parent and nine siblings. Family lives in a very difficult living situation.

Yousef was admitted to Caritas Jerusalem’s medical intervention program in early November 2016; he was under weight, stunted and wasted. His mother had normal pregnancy and delivery; at birth, he weighed 3.2kg and started breast feeding for only the first week, then sweetened water was added to his breast-feeding as mother milk became scanty and not enough. This was a major reason behind his malnourishment.  When he was 4 months old; his mother tried to support him by buying some formula milk but due to financial difficulties; she couldn’t afford it and returned to feed him with sweeten water.

When he turned 7 months old; he was screened and admitted to the program, Caritas pediatrician started nutritional rehabilitation by giving him a formula milk and corn flour every two weeks for the first four visits then every 20 days for the next two visits then once monthly for the last two visits.

Yousef suffered from motor delay as he started sitting at 10 months, and only newly he could roll over and no crawling yet. In addition, he had no signs of having any teeth yet.

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Treatment of Malnourished Children at the Beach Camp

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Ahmed Abed Allah Abu Wattfa, (7 months old) male infant. (The 3rd child for his parents)

 According to the mother, her pregnancy was pretty normal; she gained around 10 Kg by the end of the pregnancy and delivered her baby normally at the hospital.


The new-born (Ahmed) was 4 Kg in weight; he was poorly suckling and was admitted to the nursery for more than one month, and was fed by nasogastric tube insertion (NGT) due to his inability to suckle. On discharge, NGT was kept in place and was changed each week at hospital.

Feeding history:

– Breast milk was given to Ahmed during his 1st few days after delivery through the NGT, and then bottled milk was given later on as the mother was unable to produce enough milk.

– The baby was kept on NGT feeding for 2-3 weeks after discharge from the hospital, then the mother insisted to feed him by bottle despite his weakly suckling, and due to this problem, his weight was not increased.

Medical history:

2 weeks before Ahmed was admitted to the program, he was at the hospital due to his failure to thrive. At the hospital he was checked by CBC, his Hgb. was 10 gm %, no other investigations were done.

On Examination:

Weight 2.5 Kg below -3 Z-score, Length 56 cm below- 3 Z – score, Weight for Length below – 3 Z-score, Head c.f.  was 38 cm.

The baby is severely malnourished, skinny, no subcutaneous fat.  He is alert, his skin is dry, and the facial feature indicates the Pierre-Robin Syndrome (Retro-gnathia, Cleft soft palate, Post. displacement of the tongue) but no cardiac anomaly or skeletal anomaly.

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Medical Outreach Services for the Vulnerable Groups in Gaza Strip

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Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical services through a mobile clinic in three of the most marginalized areas:

  • Al-Sawarha area, in the middle of Gaza Strip: a rural area with very limited access to medical services. In Sawarha, Caritas is working through the local partner: Rural Women Development Society.
  • Al-Mawasi area, south of Gaza Strip: another rural area, set between Khan Younis city and Rafah city. Al-Mawasi area used to be part of an Israeli settlement and was re-inhabited by Palestinians after 2005. In Mawasi, Caritas is working through its local partner: The Charitable Ahali Al Mawasi Society.
  • Al-Shoka area, south of the Gaza strip: a marginalized area with very limited access to medical services. The area is located near the borders which make it hard to access during political unrest times. In Shoka, Caritas is working through its local partner: The assembly benevolent of operation “Al-Tadamon”.

The medical services provided are as follow;

  1. Primary health care services for sick children.
  2. Antenatal health care for pregnant women.
  3. Health care services for patients of NCDs (Hypertension and Diabetes)

Provision of assistive devices to people with disabilities

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During January, Caritas Jerusalem through their partner Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza (ALPC) continued providing disabled children from poor family backgrounds who are suffering from various disabilities with the assistive devices needed.

The ALPC worked with 14 cases of children with disabilities, and followed up with 10 cases for a total of 24 cases.


The cases as follows:

  • 8 cases of Genu Varum.
  • 3 cases of hip dislocation.
  • 13 cases of leg deformities.

The children are referred to the center from all over the Gaza strip since the ALPC is the only center in the area that provides this service.

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