The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) launched today the implementation of the Family Health Team approach in its health centre in the Palestine refugee camp of Jerash, Jordan.
Speaking at the ceremony, Roger Davies, Director of UNRWA Operations in Jordan, emphasized the importance of this new approach to health care. He said: "Jerash health centre marks a major milestone in implementing the Family Health Team approach. In Jordan, this brings the number to 12, which means that 50 per cent of the Agency’s health centres in Jordan are now implementing this modern and effective health approach."
Mr. Davies continued: "I'm confident that the new approach will contribute to improving the quality of services through fostering the interaction with beneficiaries as families.”
Background information on the Family Health Team approach (FHTA)
The family health system is a modern, holistic approach to service provision. This system is based on the formation of family health teams, rather than individual physicians in clinics treating patients. The health team consists of the leader of the team (a doctor), nursing staff and support health staff. Such teams proved to be more effective in addressing most of the health problems suffered by individuals, especially chronic diseases that require partnership and long-term care. This leads to better, tailored care, as well as reduced transfers to hospitals and therefore uses the available resources more efficiently.
The health teams provide all health services, preventive and curative, to individuals, families and society and raise awareness of health issues to promote healthy lifestyles. They also monitor health conditions of all family members, which will help in identifying and addressing common health issues and raising the family's awareness of best health practices
FHTA is a strategic approach by which the UNRWA health programme will improve the quality of health services provided to Palestine refugees and ensure the well-being of approximately 5 million beneficiaries across the five fields. In Jordan field, the Agency started implementation of the FHTA at Taybeh health centre in March 2012. Afterwards it was rolled out at another 5 health centres in 2012, namely, Aqaba, Kraymeh, Masharae, Waqass, and North Shouneh. In 2013, it was implemented in Zarqa town, Amir Hassan, Amman New Camp, Marka and south Baqa’a health center.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 65 million.
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