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

April 2017 medical

Through the month of April the “Integrated Healthcare and Protection Services” project, continued their medical intervention in the 3 outreach areas of: Mawasi, Sawarha, and Shoka.

The medical services provided are in three main categories:

  • Primary health care services for sick children.
  • Antenatal health care to pregnant women.
  • Health care services to patients of NCDs (hypertension, and Diabetes)

Primary health care services for sick children:

The Caritas medical outreach team has provided services to 1462 children since the beginning of the project in October 2016.

The children attending the CBO’s are being screened and their vitals measured, if they suffer from sickness they will be referred to one of our doctors on the team.

The doctor examines the child and prescribes the proper medication. For example, providing antibiotics for infections, paracetamol for feverish child, anti-parasitic drugs for intestinal parasites, and nutritional supplements for malnourished children. Children with diarrheal disorders will be provided with ORS. Also, if the child requires further lab tests, the medical team will provide them.

The services provided for children in the outreach areas are vital since those children come from very poor families, and most of their parents are unemployed and cannot afford proper medical services for the family. In addition, the areas of intervention are marginalized and no medical service providers other than Caritas work within walking distance from most of those children’s families.

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Creating a brighter future

Adam 2

Adam is an 8 year old child and actually doing quite well at school. Yet, his father was a bit worried about him and contacted the Caritas local facilitator and asked if his son can join the psychosocial sessions. Adam’s father told the facilitator that he thinks his son is suffering from the effects of the last war (summer 2014).

Adam started the psychosocial sessions. The psychosocial specialist noticed that he exhibited the following traits: inwardness, withdrawal, sleep disorder and fear. At the beginning of the sessions, the psychologist also observed that the child tended to be lonely during the activities, he didn’t participate, was shy and he speaks in a low voice. The psychologist spoke with the child and tried to support him in joining the psychological sessions. The psychologist found out that the child was afraid of sleeping in his own room, so he tends to always sleep in his parents room.

The psychologist started special one to one activities with the child in order to reduce the fear such as: coping with fear, expressing feelings, belonging to the group, the secure place and Self-confidence exercises. Continue reading

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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Mother and Daughter

Suha.jpg

Suha is a forty one year old married woman from Al Shaja’aiyya, Gaza who lives with her husband and five daughters and three sons who attend school. Suha is a housewife; her husband is the only breadwinner who is a daily paid worker with an average salary of $10 per day.  This very low income is not enough to cover the daily expenses, educational costs and any treatment costs.  After the recent war on Gaza, the family lost their home; it was fully destroyed and they had to move to a small rented house.

Suha started to attend the psychosocial support sessions for the mothers and during one-on-one sessions, CJ’s psychosocial specialist identified that Suha suffered from stress, self-blame, lack of sleep and emotional disturbance that affected the relationship with her children.  She also had suicidal tendencies and that she considered harming herself or even thought of committing suicide.

She used to attend the sessions and was very passive and  interacting with others and she would always show negative response or no response at all. Those syndromes are common with people suffering from acute depression.

Moreover, Suha’s daughter who attends the psychosocial support sessions for children also suffered from depression and she was always crying and sitting alone refusing to participate with others in the activities.

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Treatment of Malnourished Children at the Beach Camp

Baby Ahmad 1

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.

Post-delivery:

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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