Gaza Crisis 2014

Read a full account of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)'s response to the Israel-Gaza conflict between July and August 2014.

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Background 2013

This is an extract from our latest Activity Report, looking back on our work in the previous year.

Unrelenting violence in Gaza and the West Bank continues to have medical, psychological and social consequences for Palestinians.

The Israel–Palestine conflict and inter-Palestinian violence has increased people’s need for medical and psychological care, and has reduced the availability of drugs, medical equipment and services to treat them.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) runs programmes in Occupied Palestinian Territory aimed at meeting the needs not covered by the Palestinian health system.

Specialist care in Gaza

In Gaza, MSF focuses on plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery and hand surgery for patients suffering from serious burns, trauma and other debilitating injuries.

MSF specialist surgeons, anaesthetists and operating theatre nurses work alongside Palestinian colleagues in the two main public hospitals.

Most patients are children with burns injuries caused by domestic accidents, as electricity shortages force people to find alternative means of cooking and heating their homes.

Post-op care in Gaza City

MSF runs a clinic in Gaza City offering post-operative care, including physiotherapy and dressings, to help patients rehabilitate from their surgery.

In 2013, MSF started supporting the Ministry of Health on intensive care, by implementing training programmes for medical and paramedical staff.

An MSF medical team is working in close partnership with Nasser hospital medical staff, providing bedside clinical instruction, mentoring and technical support.

Mental health support

Exposure to conflict violence has a severe impact on people’s mental health.

In Nablus, Hebron and East Jerusalem, MSF teams continue to provide psychological and social support to direct and indirect victims of violence.

Almost half of the patients are under 18, and most are suffering from anxiety-related conditions.

Depression, behavioural issues and post-traumatic stress disorder are common.

At the end of 2013, MSF had 94 staff in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. MSF has been working in the country since 1989.

Patient story

Fatima

In March 2008, Fatima, Mohammed and their three children were evicted from their home by the Israeli army.

“Because of what happened to our house, the children were affected. One of them started to stammer; the teacher wasn’t able to understand him.

"All three children started wetting the bed. An MSF counsellor sat with the children and helped calm them down, and I learned how to deal with the children at night.

"I myself felt anxious, but the counsellor also helped me deal with psychological issues.”

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