October 10, 2018
Today Is World Mental Health Day
An estimated 1.8 million people currently live in the Gaza Strip, and almost 70% of the population are living in only 8 refugee camps. In 2007 Israel imposed a land, air, and sea blockade which has caused significant shortages in drugs and medical equipment.
Gaza is also significantly lacking adequate health infrastructure such as health centers, emergency centers and ambulances. Doctors of the World is working in the Gaza Strip to support healthcare facilities prepare for emergency situations by providing emergency training to medical staff and to strengthen the local health infrastructure.
In addition, we work alongside the Palestinian NGO “The Culture and Free Thought Association” to provide psychological support and mental healthcare to vulnerable communities such as women facing unwanted pregnancies.
In partnership with the CFTA, we work in women’s centers and health centers to improve the access to and quality of family planning services. In 2016, we provided nearly 4,000 people with family planning information and support during unwanted pregnancies. We also provided contraception information to 25 pharmacies and clinics.
In the West Bank region of Nablus, Palestinians live in close proximity to several Israeli settlements and a significant Israeli military presence. Some members of the Israeli settler community harass Palestinians, often damaging their housing, destroying their crops and sometimes even physically attacking them.
Our teams provide psychological support through discussion groups for members of the community who have suffered these attacks or feel threatened in their daily lives. Our groups provide them with coping mechanisms to deal with stress, and we also organize sessions in schools for children.