More than 13,000 people1 have been injured since the beginning of demonstrations in March on the border between Gaza and Israel. Of these, 11%2 are at risk of developing a permanent disability.
Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has deployed 10 teams composed of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses, a social worker and a psychologist. In total more than 40 rehabilitation professionals have been mobilised. The teams provide at-home rehabilitation care to affected people, and offer them psychological support.
“More than 5,000 people have been affected by tear gas, and more than 3,000 people have bullet wounds. 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,” explains Bruno Leclercq, director of HI in Palestine.
“HI provides patients with essential psychological care. Casualties are traumatised - 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.”
HI 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. 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,” adds Bruno Leclercq.
2. According to the WHO.