Human Concern International’s health care efforts amid Gaza crisis

Occupied Palestinian Territory has long been a focal point of geopolitical strife, with recent conflicts exacerbating an already dire situation. In the aftermath of October 7, over 1.9 million people, predominantly children, are internally displaced, seeking refuge in UNRWA shelters due to ongoing violence.

Gaza’s health crisis

The Rafah governorate, now the most densely populated area, faces severe overcrowding, leading to disease outbreaks and dire living conditions. The aftermath of winter weather has further worsened the situation, emphasizing the urgent need for regional humanitarian assistance. The health care system in Gaza has been severely impacted, amid outages, damage to numerous hospitals and shortages of medical supplies.

 

Makeshift Camps in the Rafah governorate

HCI’s intervention

Human Concern International (HCI), a leading global charity based in Canada, has been actively involved in addressing the prolonged protection crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory. For more than a decade, HCI has specialized in challenge-specific solutions, collaborating with local partners to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities.

Addressing Gaza’s health care crisis

In response to the critical health care situation in Gaza, HCI collaborated with local health professionals to establish a temporary health clinic in Rafah in January 2024.

Rafah clinic highlights

  • Comprehensive facility: Spanning 400 square meters, the Rafah clinic boasts eight rooms, seven medical beds, 15 outpatient beds and a portable ultrasound machine.
  • Diverse medical services: The clinic is a lifeline for the community, offering wound care, emergency care, maternal and child health services and mental health support.
  • Infrastructure support: An additional 300 square meters are designated for a medicine storage warehouse to ensure streamlined operations.
  • Community engagement: Beyond medical care, the clinic conducts community awareness campaigns, provides mental health services and offers referral support for complex cases.

 

A doctor is providing services to babies in the Rafah clinic.

Impact in numbers

Despite challenging circumstances, HCI’s Rafah Clinic in Tul Sultan has recorded significant impacts in the past two months, attending to 23,859 patients. Key impacts include:

  • Acute respiratory treatments for 1,253 patients
  • Treatment of 177 people, including 81 children under five, for severe burns
  • Management of extreme and minor injuries for 187 and 212 individuals, respectively
  • Mental health services provided to 167 people, primarily children under five
  • Services for 326 pregnant women, including 44 for obstetrics and delivery
  • 117 minor surgical procedures
  • Treatment for 4,168 people for other non-specified diagnoses
A doctor examining a child in the Rafah clinic

HCI persists in addressing health care needs in the occupied Palestinian territory amid the crisis in Gaza. The ongoing impact of the clinic is crucial in sustaining access to critical health care services during challenging circumstances. Actively engaged in the continuous pursuit of a healthier future, HCI’s efforts simultaneously address immediate health care needs and contribute to the potential for long-term resilience and well-being. These initiatives reinforce HCI’s mission to move families from crisis to sustainability.

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