Gaza : Emergency rehabilitation care for casualties
Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has deployed 10 emergency teams to provide rehabilitation care and psychological support to people injured in the demonstrations that have rocked Gaza over the last few months.
Ahmad, 15, was injured by a munition at his right leg above knee in the context of violence which hit Gaza since March 2018. | © HI
At least 13,300 people have been injured since the demonstrations began in March on the border between Gaza and Israel. Hospitals are having to cope with the sudden arrival of large numbers of casualties, who are only able to stay for a short period of time due to a lack of space.
HI has deployed ten emergency teams composed of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, psychologists and other professionals. These teams visit the homes of casualties and identify the essential needs of people affected by the violence. Over the course of one week, HI identified more than 250 casualties who will benefit from rehabilitation care, and more than 70 people who will be given a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, crutches or walking frame: “A lot of people need rehabilitation care or attention from nurses and occupational therapists. More than 3,000 people have bullet wounds. The patients we have met in their homes have suffered massive tibial destruction, torn tissue and pulverised bone that are comparable to war injuries," says Bruno Leclercq, HI’s director in Palestine. Recovery is long and requires months or years of surgery, physiotherapy and rehabilitation. “Psychological support is also vital,” adds Bruno, “particularly for people at risk of amputation.”
HI, which has worked in Gaza for more than twenty years, will provide assistance to 1,500 casualties, and advise more than 7,000 relatives on injury management, rehabilitation and psychological support. The aim is to provide the friends and relatives of casualties with a knowledge of the basic exercises to perform on a daily basis.