Contribution to UNRWA Health Program 2017
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been providing health care for Palestine refugees in the Near East for over 6 decades. Today, UNRWA’s network of 65 primary health care facilities and mobile clinics provides the foundation of its health assistance to a rapidly growing population of 2.3 Million Palestine refugees in the West Bank and Gaza, offering preventive, basic and advanced medical care services tailored to each stage of life (i.e. family planning, medical checkups and vaccination, providing midday meals to children, treatments and management of non-communicable diseases, in addition to prenatal, perinatal and post natal follow up and infant care).
UNRWA aims at providing the best possible health care to Palestine refugees as a population whose lives have been conditioned for generations by social, political and economic forces well beyond their control. These efforts are also part of the greater joint mission of the UN and national governments to address the social determinants of health and how health is directly influenced by many societal, non-medical factors that are outside the conventional health care delivery services. This project will contribute to ensure adequate and timely availability of essential medicines and supplies through the procurement of medical and laboratory supplies as well as educational materials for UNRWA Health Centers and Clinics in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Austrian contribution will benefit approximately Palestine refugees through provision of UNRWA healthcare services in Gaza and the West Bank. The direct beneficiaries amount to 362.306 while, additionally, the Austrian support affects 1,74 mio. persons indirectly. This number comprises inter alia infants and children, pregnant women and diabetic patients in Gaza and the West Bank.
UNRWA has 65 health centers and sub-centers throughout the West Bank and Gaza by in which they provide their medical services to Palestinian refugees (22 in Gaza Strip and 43 in the West Bank). Moreover, UNRWA contracted 18 hospitals in West Bank (11) and Gaza Strip (7) to provide surgical services including gynecology and delivery operations to the Palestinian refugees based on established cost-sharing formula for this particular purpose.
This project will contribute to ensuring adequate and timely availability of essential medicines and supplies through the procurement of medical and laboratory supplies as well as educational materials for UNRWA Health Centers and Clinics in the West Bank and Gaza. Specifically, the project will contribute to 1) ensuring universal access to quality, comprehensive primary health care through the Family Health Team approach, improved rational use of drugs and adequate and timely availability of essential medicines and supplies, 2) protecting and promoting family health through improved pregnancy outcomes and improved maternal and child health outcomes, 3) preventing and controlling diseases, including vaccine preventable childhood illnesses, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and, 4) providing effective leadership and direction for achieving strategic objectives.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been providing health care for Palestine refugees in the Near East for over 6 decades. At the start, in 1950, the health status of 750,000 Palestinians under its care was very poor, with disease burden driven primarily by infectious and communicable diseases because of prevalent overcrowding and low hygiene in camps that favored the transmission of air and water-borne infections. The high mortality rates in infants and children were further exacerbated by malnutrition and undernourishment affecting infants and children. Thus the programs such as supplementary feeding programs targeted nutrition supplementation and plugging micronutrient deficiencies: providing fresh midday meals to children, as well as monthly dry rations, milk and cod liver oil. Today, a rapidly growing population of 5.85 million Palestine refugees is eligible for UNRWA services in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.