October 10, 2018
Today Is World Mental Health Day
Our teams have been active in Palestine for over 16 years, working to provide Palestinians with access to primary health care in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. During the recent violence, health workers and medical facilities have also been targeted by the Israeli military.
More than 169 health workers have been injured and 19 ambulances damaged. Palestine’s health infrastructure is already overwhelmed, facing chronic shortages of essential medicine and this will debilitate it even further.
Dr. Jean-François Corty, Director of International Operations for Doctors of the World France, described how “With a only few hours of electricity a day, it is immensely difficult to import medicines and medical equipment and to refer patients to the appropriate healthcare facilities. The blockade has disastrous effects on the health of civilians. The inhumanity inflicted on Palestinians in this open-air prison must be denounced.”
Doctors of the World joins the international community in calling for the cessation of excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians and an independent, transparent international inquiry into the ongoing violence occurring in the Gaza Strip.
Doctors of the World is also currently treating Palestinian children who have previously been detained and imprisoned by the Israeli military. Almost 80% of detained children are subjected to physical violence or assault during their arrest, transfer to prison, or interrogation.
Human rights violations such as these, as well as harsh conditions experienced during detention, have significant psychological effects on the children’s mental health, and that of their families.