Doctors of the World: Humanitarian relief in Gaza - Doctors of the World

Doctors of the World: Humanitarian relief in Gaza

For the past six months, the Gaza Strip has been under relentless attack, resulting in the tragic loss of tens of thousands of civilian lives, including aid workers. The majority of those affected are women and children. Amidst this crisis, Doctors of the World is urgently calling for a ceasefire and striving to provide humanitarian assistance in the face of severe supply shortages.


The ongoing violence and dire conditions in Gaza and the West Bank are taking a heavy toll on both the physical and mental well-being of civilians as well as our team. Over 30,000 individuals, with women and children comprising 70%, have perished due to bombings and shelling, while more than 70,000 others have sustained injuries. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to repeatedly flee within the Gaza Strip, yet there are no safe havens, neither in the north nor the south.

Our team of 18 members in Gaza operates amidst constant danger, as highlighted by the recent attack on the aid organization World Central Kitchen on April 2nd. While the situation remains perilous, Doctors of the World, alongside other members of the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), including our international network, remains steadfast in our commitment to providing aid. However, the safety of our staff remains our foremost concern.

Like the civilian population, our teams in Gaza are profoundly weakened. “We survived on one meal a day provided by World Central Kitchen,” recounts Louise Bichet, responsible for Middle East projects at Doctors of the World, after a recent visit. Particularly in northern Gaza, many lack even a single daily meal. The scarcity of nutritious food and clean water exacerbates the health challenges faced by people living in cramped conditions. Coupled with the psychological trauma of incessant violence and the loss of loved ones, the outlook for recovery appears daunting.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), famine looms large. By July 2024, an estimated 70 % of Gaza’s population will be grappling with severe food shortages. Despite the challenges, Doctors of the World is actively engaged in providing assistance.


Doctors of the World: Emergency Relief Mobile Units 


In Gaza, we have deployed two mobile medical teams to emergency shelters, where thousands await assistance. These teams offer medical services and psychosocial support at two locations. With the support of drug donations from the World Health Organization, our teams operate with minimal resources. In mid-February, our Gaza colleagues treated between 130 and 150 individuals daily.

Comprising an emergency doctor, maternal and child health specialists, midwives, nurses, and psychologists, our mobile teams offer comprehensive care, including:

  • Treatment of life-threatening injuries and illnesses, alongside provision of essential medication
  • Maternal and child health services, encompassing prenatal and postnatal care, family planning, and pediatric care
  • Surveillance and response to potential epidemics, such as cholera, through continuous monitoring, case reporting, and rapid intervention
  • General medical services, including vaccinations, management of chronic illnesses, and health education on hygiene

Additionally, two mobile medical units from our partner, the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), operate under our supervision in refugee accommodations in Rafah. Depending on safety and accessibility, we mobilize additional teams to serve in critical areas.



Doctors of the World: Medical Check-Points established around Gaza 


The international network of Doctors of the World along with local and international organizations has established multiple medical points across Gaza where we can operate and provide care to Gazans in need. Below is a snapshot of our efforts in the past year. 


  • 2 Medical Points operate in Al-Kuwait Industrial Collective Shelter and Al Qadisiya School shelter (Rafah governorate).
    • Through these two medical points, we are able to provide nearly 1000 health consultations per week including essential basic primary health care (PHC)  such as diagnosis and treatment for communicable and non-communicable disease (NCD), Mothers and Child Health (MCD), Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (SRHR), and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS).
    • Each team is composed of one general doctor, one mother and child doctor, one nurse, one midwife and one psychologist.
    • Coordination with NRC to provide 168 hygiene kits for patients diagnosed with Hepatitis A to reduce the risk of disease transmission.


  • 1 Medical Point operates in Al Quds school shelter (Rafah governorate), with local partner Al Awda.
    • Providing PHC, MHPSS and referrals.
    • In March: Provided general medicine services to 1,500 beneficiaries through the medical point inside the shelter center every month, with health follow up consultations for 122 patients. Most of the cases that were referred were suffering from pneumonia, scabies, Hepatitis A and gastroenteritis. These cases require medical intervention such as intravenous therapy, intravenous solutions, medical and nursing follow-up for a period of time.
    • Provision of psychosocial services through a psychologist.
    • Provision of medicine.
    • Upcoming activities: in the coming weeks the Al Quds school shelter will provide recreational activities for children, as well as toys distribution and food distribution.


  • 4 Medical points in Bader Square (Rafah), Uriba area (Rafah), Jabalia Prep H school and Jabalia Prep C school in Jabalia camp (North Gaza), with local partner Juzoor.
    • Staff in each medical point: General practitioner, nurse, midwife, psychologist, pediatrician, obstetrician and gynecologist specialist, emergency doctor, pharmacist, a clerk, a medical point manager and an assistant
    • From 1 to 22 March: 4.878 consultations  were provided and ranged from a wide variety of health services including: emergency services, reproductive health, maternal and Child health, as well as infectious and chronic disease.


Doctors of the World: West Bank continues to receive aid 


In the West Bank, our mobile mental health teams remain active, with preparations underway for the deployment of a mobile clinic in Jenin and Qalqilya, areas witnessing heightened violence and attacks by Israeli settlers. Collaborating with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, our teams support nearly thirty locations across four governorates.


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All our efforts are conducted in coordination with various stakeholders, including international agencies, local partners, and humanitarian networks, to ensure effective and impactful assistance to those in need. If you wish to help support our efforts in Gaza, please click the link below to donate! 




© Mohammed Zaanoun