As part of our rolling programme of visits to our NGO partners, Louise (Programmes Director) and Hannah (Partnerships and Programmes Officer) spent a week in Palestine visiting 10 health facilities, including a hospital, a women’s health clinic, a centre for disabled people, and clinics serving people inside refugee camps.

We have been partnering with Anera since 2013, using medicines and supplies donated by our generous donors to support its activities in healthcare. Anera works with many of these facilities long-term.

Louise and Hannah visited a clinic in Dura run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), which operates more than 30 clinics across the region. Dura has no hospital, but its clinic provides services to a population of 120,000 people, many from poor households, and sees up to 80 patients a day. Most pay a small fee to come to the clinic (5 shekels – about £1). Some patients cannot afford this, but the clinic still treats them and distributes donated medicines for free.

Pharmacy shelves are often bare, and it’s rare for medicines to come in formulations suitable for children. The clinic also lacks medicines for acute conditions, chronic medicines for conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, and gastro medicines such as proton pump inhibitors. One doctor told Louise and Hannah: “Sometimes we have a patient whose need for treatment is very great. We know they won’t get better without medicine, but the clinic has none and the person can’t afford to buy it. Occasionally I end up buying medicines myself, out of my own pocket.”

 

Ameena's Story

 

"This is the only place I know that can help in emergencies.”

 

Ruba hold her daughter Ameena who received IHP donated medicine for an ear infection.

 

At the Dura clinic, Louise met baby Ameena, whose mother Ruba had brought her in with an acute ear infection a few months before. “We came when Ameena had a fever and was in lots of pain,” Ruba told Louise. “I was scared to death – her temperature was through the roof and she’d stopped feeding. At first, I tried another clinic, but the doctor couldn’t help as they didn’t have medicines to treat her with. They told me to go to the hospital, but it’s very far, and I had no way of getting there. So I brought her here instead. My neighbours helped me by looking after my other five children.” 

An ear swab and lab test showed Ameena was suffering from acute otitis media (a middle-ear infection), and she was given antibiotics. The infection recurred, so the clinic gave her an injection of a different antibiotic. “Now it’s clearing up and she’s much healthier,” added Ruba. “Today we are here so they can make sure the infection is completely gone. I know she is better because she is not in pain any more and she’s feeding well again. This is the only place I know that can help in emergencies.”

 

Due to shortages of vital medicines, across Palestine, many treatable health issues are causing enormous suffering and costing lives. Join with us as we coordinate the delivery of top quality, long-dated medicines to health facilities in Palestine, enabling doctors and medical staff to provide patients like Ameena with the best possible care. Click a button below to get involved.

 

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