Tuesday, November 24, 2020

WHO and EU strengthen trauma care services in Gaza

By Myriam Purtscher - September 19, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza] [medical supplies]

The World Health Organisation (WHO), with support from the European Union has announced they will provide 'life-saving’ medicine to the Gaza Strip and give hands-on training for health staff working in frontline trauma stabilisation points (TSPs).

According to a WHO press release delivered on September 13, “medicines and medical supplies to treat more than 100,000 people have been delivered to hospitals and frontline TSPs.”
The support is a measure to replenish critically depleted trauma services as a result of the increasing numbers of casualties injured during the ongoing 'Great March of Return’ demonstrations.
The 'Great March of Return’ has been ongoing since March 30, when protesters in Gaza began non-violent demonstrations to commemorate 'Nakba’ or 'Day of Catastrophe’ where 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their historic homeland by the creation of Israel in 1948.
To date, 177 Palestinians have been killed according to Palestinian News Network in the demonstrations which call for an end to the 12-year-long Israeli blockade and right of return for the exiled Palestinian refugees.
“The role of health workers at trauma stabilisation points is crucial,” Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, WHO’s Head of Office for Gaza and the West Bank said in the statement.
“Health staff in TSPs are usually the first to see wounded patients, and their capacity to resuscitate, stabilise, and treat patients with serious injuries can significantly increase patients’ chances of survival before they are referred to hospital for further medical care,” Rockenschaub explained.
According to WHO figures, 8,600 of the 18,000 people which have been injured during the ongoing demonstrations were managed and directly discharged at TSPs, and almost 9,500 have been referred by TSP health workers to hospitals for specialised care.
Waleed, one of the thousands of Palestinians treated at the TSPs said without the immediate help from the TSPs his leg would have been permanently damaged after he was shot by Israeli forces.  
“When I was shot in the leg, I was taken to the closest trauma stabilisation centre which was less than 5 minutes away. Doctors treated my injury and made sure I was stable enough to be taken to hospital,” Waleed said in the WHO statement.
The EU’s Head of Humanitarian Aid Office for Palestine, Michelle Čičić stated in the press release; “it is critical that we are able to provide patients with life-saving care from the point of injury to the moment they are released from hospital. This serves to improve the health system in Gaza as a whole.”

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