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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
15 December 2002

Health Inforum News
Volume 1, No.17, 15 December 2002
______________________________________________________________________________________


Welcome to the seventeenth edition of the Health Inforum Newsletter. In our ongoing efforts to provide useful information to the whole of the health community, we continue to welcome any comments or suggestions you might have to help us improve this newsletter.

Dr. Shebi appeals to the International Community to protect Women and Children in the occupied Palestinian territories

Minister of Health Dr. Ahmad Shebi, appeals to the international community, WHO, ICRC UNFPA and UN agencies and the Arab Ministers of Health Council to protect Women and children lives in occupied Palestinian territories.

Dr. Shebi announced that the number of killed women and children (under 18 years) by the Israelis since January 2002 until November 2002 is 162 and 531 respectively.

Dr. Shebi added that Palestinian women are suffering from the worst practices on the checkpoints including delivery on checkpoints, which threatens their lives and their newborns lives too, this is against the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN laws.

This newsletter discusses the following items:

1. Advocacy, what is?
2. Key issues
3. Health In Field, (Health Inforum visits Medical Facilities bi- monthly to report on services, conditions, appeals)
4. Health In News
5. Emergencies, Notices, Requests

Many Thanks to Dr. Angelo Stefanini

Dr. Angelo Stefanini, the World Health Organization WHO Coordinator In oPt will finish his mission by the end of December 2002.

Health Inforum would like to express its sincere thanks and gratitude to Dr. Angelo Stefanini for his unique and important role in establishing the Health Inforum to support the health sector in Palestine and to respond to an acute emergency crisis in the health sector.

We wish Dr. Stefanini and his family all the best.

Health Inforum team

HEALTH INFORUM WISHES YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR. We HOPE THAT THE NEXT YEAR MIGHT BRING PEACE AND PROSPERITY FOR ALL

Advocacy, What is?

Advocacy is pursuit of influencing outcomes - including public policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions - that directly affect people's lives.

Advocacy consists of organized efforts and actions based on the reality of "what is." These organized actions seek to highlight critical issues that have been ignored and submerged, to influence public attitudes, and to enact and implement laws and public policies so that vision of "what should be" in a just, decent society become a reality. Human rights - political, economic, and social - is an overreaching framework for these visions. Advocacy organizations draw their strength from and are accountable to people - their members, constituents, and/or members of affected groups.

Advocacy has purposeful results: to enable social justice advocates to gain access and voice in the decision making of relevant institutions; to change the power relationships between these institutions and the people affected by their decisions, thereby changing the institutions themselves; and to bring a clear improvement in people's lives.

SOURCE: OXFAM

Key Issues

Effects of the Current Crises and Maternity Care, Dr H. El-Nana, of Rafidia Hospital

Lack of antenatal care

  • Poverty
  • Failure of medical team & pregnant mother to attend health centers
  • Increase in congenital anomalies

    Psychological Trauma
  • All the time at checkpoints
  • Insulation of Pt, relatives & ambulance teams
  • Delay at checkpoints
  • Maternal & prenatal morbidity & mortality
  • Delivery
  • Serenity of injuries
  • Birth canal trauma infant trauma

    Postnatal consequences
  • Depression/psychosis
  • Breastfeeding

    Recommendations
  • Medical team/ambulances should not be delayed or insulted, they have the right to move freely, this is the responsibility of the international health sectors
  • Ambulances, some should operate as flying squads
  • Training general nurses and social workers
  • Hotline 24hours
  • Programs on local television and radio

    Health Inforum thanks Dr H. El-Nana, of Rafidia Hospital, Nablus for sharing his research that was presented in a seminar during October to the Red Cross

    Health Infield

    Old City Clinic, Old City, Nablus

    Center Opened: End of May 2002, this center opened in response to the problems facing the residents of the Old City who remained trapped within its walls during curfews there was no clinic within the Old City prior to May 2002.

    Run/Supported by: Nablus Municipality/Medicine Du Monde/CARE

    Services Available: Primary Health Care (all services available as under a general practice, no deliveries/operations)

    Fees: Pharmacy, the clinic receives a voluntary in-kind donation of maximum 3 shekels for medicines, this is not required if the patient cannot afford to pay.

    Number of Staff: 1 x Doctor, Pharmacist Staff, Reception,

    Number of Patients: average 500 patients per month

    Catchment's Population: Nablus Old City Residents, Outside residents may attend during enforced curfew hours, residents within Old City are able to access clinic during curfew but it is noted that they tend not to travel during curfew if it is not deemed essential.

    Hours of Clinic: 8am - 2pm Curfew Hours 8am - 2pm (municipality transport is provided for staff to access clinic from outside of the Old City during curfew)

    Extras Services: Sunday's and Wednesday's Psychiatrist attends clinics

    Comment: 'many patients are not actually physically ill but in need of counseling we now have a Psychiatrist who attends the centre 2 times per week, the demand for this service has increased dramatically over the lasts few months and now is essential to the clinic and the patients needs, this increase in demand is a direct result of the conditions in the territories and will continue to rise while the present situation remains the same'

    Appeal: Always in need of extra supplies of especially antibiotics and paracetamol please contact MDM if it is possible to support the Old City Clinic with these essential drug supplies.

    Health in News

    Health Sector Bi-weekly Report, Number 5 (28 October 2002)

    This is the fifth Health Sector Bi-weekly Report, which describes data that is collected every two weeks in an effort to monitor the impact of the emergency on various aspects of the health sector. CARE/Johns Hopkins University/ANERA under the Emergency Medical Assistance Project has partnered with Al Quds University to design and implement a sentinel surveillance system for Palestinian households. The Maram Project has designed and implements a monitoring system for all health service delivery facilities operated by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, UNRWA and Palestinian non-government organizations (NGOs). Both EMAP and Maram are funded through USAID.

    Highlights of Cumulative Data:

    3200 Households & 180 Health Facilities Over 20 Weeks:

  • Decrease in the amount of food consumed: 57.4% of households
  • Decrease in consumption of specific food groups: meat/fish/chicken, 68.9%; fruits/vegetables, 64.6%; milk/milk products, 44.5%; bread/ potato/rice, 30%.
  • Reasons for decrease in food: West Bank, lack of money 74%, curfew 22.2% (trend shifts to lack of money over the last 10 weeks); Gaza, lack of money 96%
  • Water interruption: 42.9% of households; West Bank, 34.3%; Gaza, 61.6%; 38 clinics (21.1%) experienced water shortages resulting in disruptions in drinking water for patients and staff, provision of clinical services, and housekeeping/sanitation services
  • Borrowing money: 51.9 % of households; West Bank, 48.3 %; Gaza, 59.8%
  • Selling assets: 18.6 % of households; West Bank, 14.8%; Gaza, 26.9%.
  • Access to services: Households and facilities were more affected in the West Bank than Gaza; more difficulty for specialized services than primary care services.
  • More than 90% of clinics reporting disruptions in clinical services continue to cite "lack of trained staff due to curfews/closures as primary causes of disruptions"
  • Women's health services, specifically ante- and postnatal care and labor and delivery support have been affected, to the extent that 58 clinics expressed a need for additional OB staff and/or additional OB training for their current staff.

    Emergency Distribution

    3 Dec Ramallah to Nablus, facilitated by the ICRC
    11 Dec Ramallah to Bethlehem, facilitated by the Italian Cooperation
    17 Dec Ramallah to Bethlehem, facilitated by the Italian Cooperation
    17 Dec Natanya to Ramallah , facilitated by the Italian Cooperation

    Request

    The following schedule has been requested for December/January distribution. Health Inforum succeeded in delivering 12 trucks out of 23.

    Please advise Health Inforum if your organization can assist with distribution needs, please email Healthinforum@undp.org



    Destination
    Trucks Needed
    Trucks Delivered
    Delivery Date
    Facilitator
    Nablus
    6*
    2
    December
    UNRWA/ICRC
    Tulkarem
    2
    2
    December
    UNRWA
    Jenin
    3
    2
    December
    MOH
    Bethlehem
    3
    December
    tbc
    Jericho
    2
    2
    December
    UNRWA/
    Salfit
    1
    December
    tbc
    Qalqilya
    1
    1
    December
    UNRWA/
    Jerusalem
    1
    1
    December
    MOH
    Hebron
    4
    2
    December
    UNRWA/
    Total
    23
    12
    * ICRC will deliver 3 trucks to Nablus on 18 December



    Health Inforum would like to thank all those organizations and individuals that have continued to support and help towards distribution needs:

    The Italian Cooperation, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), World Food Program (WFP), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    Notices

    Reproductive Health sub-group Meeting/UNFPA
    Event Date:
    12/17/2002 10:00 AM
    Location:
    Public Health Laboratory, Ramallah

    Proposed Agenda:

    - Review of Oct. 30 minutes (10 minutes).
    - Agency presentations on mapping of RH services in the West Bank (5 minutes each).
    - Discussion of follow up activities for mapping (45 minutes)
    - UNFPA presentation of overall mapping (15 minutes)
    - Summarization and closing remarks (10 minutes)

    Please note this meeting has now been postponed until January

    New Postings this month for Health Inforum

    A legacy of Injustice Report, by Physicians for Human Rights

    This report includes these major topics:

    - Legal Background
    - Health in the occupied territories prior to the Oslo accords
    - Health during the peace negotiations
    - Israeli responsibility following the signing of the accords
    - Functioning of health system under Israeli Occupation
    - East Jerusalem: Divorce by Force
    - Checks and Balances
    - Conclusion and Recommendations

    For more information refer to Health Inforum Web Portal http://hart.itcoop-jer.org

    WEBSITE:

    Health Inforum posts daily news and announcements concerning health issues on our website: http://hart.itcoop-jer.org. We welcome your inputs, comments and suggestions.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION

    Please feel free to contact us for information at:

    Health Inforum, c/o the Italian Cooperation
    Sheik Jarrah, East Jerusalem
    Tel: 02 532 7447, Fax: 02 532 2904
    Email: healthinforum@undp.org

    http://hart.itcoop-jer.org


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