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Source: United Nations Information Service at Geneva
United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
25 May 2012

25 May 2012

Corinne Momal-Vanian, the Director of the UN Information Service in Geneva, chaired the briefing, which was also attended by Spokespersons for the International Labour Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, the World Health Organization, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration and the UN Children’s Fund.


Report on Health Status of Palestine Refugees

Dr. Akihiro Seita, Director of Health, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), said that the life of Palestinian refugees was harsh and grey but today he could share some good news. UNRWA, one of the largest providers of public health services in the Middle East, had introduced a new model of health provision which was having a transformative impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees.

The family health model was holistically addressing health issues, particularly non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and involving the entire family in dealing with life-style issues, among other things. This approach provided comprehensive community-style care, bearing the importance of the family in mind.

The approach had started as a pilot in two health centres in Gaza and in Lebanon in late 2011 and had met with the approval of UNRWA beneficiaries. Dr. Seita was truly excited when visiting the centres, with the excitement being shared by communities and health centre staff.

The approach was expanding rapidly, now covering 11 or 12 health centres with 500,000 refugees, with clear signs that UNRWA health services had improved. UNRWA’s vision was to expand the family health team approach to all 138 UNRWA health centres in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank by 2015, said Dr. Akihiro Seita.

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