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HI launches emergency response to assist injured

Emergency Rehabilitation
Occupied Palestinian Territories

10 teams will be working in the five governorates of Gaza starting the end of the week, supplying at-home rehabilitation care to people injured in the demonstrations held in recent weeks. Flavia Stea Antonini, head of operations at the organisation’s head office, tells us more about HI’s response.

An 11-year-old child injured in a demonstration in Gaza on 12 May.

An 11-year-old child injured in a demonstration in Gaza on 12 May. | © Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/ AFP

“HI’s teams will launch their response in a few days. Their aim is to provide at-home rehabilitation care and psychological support for casualties returning home after being released from hospital, where they often stay a very short time due to overcrowding.

We plan to help 1,500 people. Seven thousand carers - friends and family of the injured - will also be given advice on injury management, and how to provide casualties with rehabilitation care and psychosocial support.  Our programme is set to last six months.

Our team currently has 40 professionals, including one social worker, two occupational therapists, two physiotherapists, one psychologist and two nurses per team. We will be assessing the situation over the next few days: it won’t take us long to understand the types of injuries we need to deal with, how we are going to manage patient flows, and so on. We can beef up our teams if necessary.

Things have become less tense in Gaza in recent days, but we know that other events are planned until 5 June.”

Some 3,500 people were injured in demonstrations on 14 and 15 May on the border between Gaza and Israel. Medical services in Gaza have been overwhelmed by the sudden arrival of large numbers of casualties. The rehabilitation services set up by HI are needed to ensure the injured do not develop complications and to prevent the onset of disability.

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