Contribution to UNRWA Health Programme in Gaza and West Bank
Improved health status of Palestinian refugees in West Bank and Gaza.
Specifically, it aims to:
1. Improve pregnancy outcomes and maternal and child health services;
2. Ensure universal access to quality, person-centred comprehensive primary health care through the family health team approach;
3. Provide secondary and tertiary hospital care;
4. Provide effective leadership and direction for achieving strategic objectives.
1. Strengthened People-centred primary health care services using Family Health Team model
2. Efficient hospital support services provided
3. Provision of effective leadership and direction for achieving strategic objectives
The Program will target the whole population of the Palestinian Refugees in West Bank and Gaza (2.9 million registered refugees). With the Austrian contribution, approximately 145,000 Palestinian Refugees in Gaza and the West Bank can be reached each year. ADA’s contribution constitutes about 5% of the budget of the UNRWA health programme for the West Bank and Gaza. The target group includes men and women in reproductive age, infants, children and adolescents and patients with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The program is implemented by UNRWA.
UNRWA has 65 health centres and sub-centres throughout the West Bank and Gaza in which they provide their medical services to Palestinian refugees (22 in Gaza Strip and 43 in the West Bank). Moreover, UNRWA contracted 12 hospitals in the West Bank and 10 in the Gaza Strip to provide surgical services including gynaecology and delivery operations to the Palestinian refugees.
This health programme contributes to the following activities in the West Bank and Gaza:
1. Maternal Health Care:
2. Child Health Care:
3. Communicable diseases
4. Non-Communicable diseases
5. Antibiotics prescription and medicines stock
6. Mental Health and Psycho Social Support
7. Adolescent and Adult Care
9. Training course on Family Medicine for UNRWA medical physicians
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has continuously provided health care for Palestine refugees in the Near East for seven decades. Today, a rapidly growing population of over 5.9 million Palestine refugees is eligible for UNRWA services in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Palestine refugees are especially vulnerable as they are a socially disadvantaged group whose lives have been conditioned for generations by social, political and economic forces well beyond their control. The COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and UNRWA health services have been resumed, while the war in Ukraine has further affected the economic situation in the region and globally as well as the global markets for procurement, especially procurement of medicine. Moreover, public health systems in hosting authorities are overstretched while UNRWA support the health service provision, including vaccination among non-refugee children in West Bank, to release the pressure from the overwhelmed health systems. On top of these, in 2022, Palestine refugees continued to suffer from the recurrent escalation of hostilities and been affected psychologically.
Under its new UNRWA Strategic Plan (2023- 2028) , UNRWA is committed to its objective 2: Palestine refugees lead healthy lives . Moreover, UNRWA’s effort to provide the best possible health care to Palestine refugees is part of the greater joint mission of the UN and national governments to address the disparities in social determinants of health and to achieve health equity and universal health coverage. UNRWA’s network of primary health care facilities and mobile clinics provides the foundation of its health assistance to refugees, offering preventive, basic and advanced medical care services tailored to each stage of life. Additionally, telemedicine, for hotline medical consultations by medical doctors, will continue to be available to provide consultation to beneficiaries at distance. This is considered as an effective modality to mitigate the infection risks during the flu season and during emergency, in the post pandemic.
UNRWA ensures the right to health, defined in General Comment 14 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by assuring the core components; availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of the medical services. In addition, UNRWA Health Programme addresses SDG 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Specifically, it contributes to the 3.1 reduction of maternal mortality; 3.2 ending preventable deaths of newborns and children; 3.4 reduction of premature mortality from non-communicable diseases and promotion of mental health; 3.7 universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services; and 3.8 achieving universal health coverage.