More than 13,000 people have been injured since March following demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, of which 11% risk developing a permanent disability. HI recently deployed ten emergency teams comprised of 40 rehabilitation professionals (occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, a social worker, and a psychologist) to provide rehabilitation care and psychological support to affected people in Gaza.
“More than 5,000 people have been affected by tear gas, and more than 3,000 people have bullet wounds,” explains Bruno Leclercq, Director of HI in Palestine. “Many of them were hit in the legs, and have fractured tibias, which require several operations and long-term rehabilitation care. This care is essential and must be provided immediately to avoid the onset of disability.”
HI provides patients with essential psychological care. Casualties are traumatized, some risk losing a leg, or being unable to move around for months. These accidents cause a lot of hardship, and people affected suddenly have to rethink every aspect of their daily lives. It’s very hard.”Our teams will provide assistance to 1,500 casualties, and advise 7,000 relatives on injury management, rehabilitation, and psychological support.
“The climate is very depressed in Gaza, there’s a real sense of despair,” Leclercq adds. “The situation just makes the already very fragile social and economic situation worse. At the same time, the affected populations have shown real resilience and a lot of courage.”