Increasing health and resilience to COVID-19 and similar crises in Palestine, West Bank and Gaza
Palestinian health facilities lack adequate medical equipment and the capacity to respond to COVID-19 and other similar emergencies, particularly in Gaza, due to the long-standing restrictions in bringing in supplies. While the vaccine supply in Palestine has improved, the main barrier to vaccination now appears to be a lack of information on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, especially among youth, women, residents of camps and villages, and those with poor internet access.
The pandemic and the economic distress from both political violence and COVID-19 have increased the risk of gender-based violence (GBV) for women and girls in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). Weak clinical management of rape services restrict supportive services. The survivor-centred approach is often breached through virginity testing embedded in the practice of forensic medicine, lack of confidentiality across service provision channels, survivor-blaming and mandatory reporting. There has also been a significant increase in psychological distress due to the pandemic and political turbulence. In 2022, over 621,000 people need mental health services in oPt and there is a need to support medical staff with relevant training.
ER 1.1 Communities are capacitated to become advocates for community health promotion and prevention.
ER 1.2 Community members are capacitated to become catalysts of change in community health promotion, prevention and GBV prevention.
ER 1.3 Diverse groups of community members improve their knowledge and awareness of community health promotion and prevention behaviours.
ER 2.1 Health care providers and community health workers are capacitated to respond to emergency and non-emergency health situations.
ER 2.2 Health care providers are capacitated to better respond to COVID-19-related mental health gaps.
ER 2.3 Health care providers are capacitated to detect and refer gender-based violence cases.
ER 3.1 Hospitals and Primary health centres are supported with medical equipment/supplies for infection prevention and control.
Establish Steering Committee
Conduct trainings for community leaders to become advocates for community health promotion and prevention behaviours
Conduct trainings for women’s association on health promotion and prevention for COVID-19 and other health problems, and on GBV detection and referral
Establish male groups and conduct training on raising awareness and engagement in GBV prevention
Conduct outreach and raising awareness activities for GBV prevention through community initiatives
Conduct awareness raising sessions for the elderly, people with disabilities, schools, journalism students, youth groups
Launch initiatives in targeted schools and youth groups to disseminate messages
Conduct national campaigns through (online) media
Conduct trainings on Basic Emergency Preparedness, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, and Fundamental Critical Care for health care providers
Conduct trainings on IPC and Communication Skills for Internal Medicine and community health workers
Conduct trainings on identifying and addressing mental health gaps for healthcare providers and social workers
Conduct trainings on gender-based violence detection and referral for healthcare providers
Conduct a rapid assessment to validate the urgently needed equipment/supplies
Procure identified equipment/supplies and distribute to the identified health facilities
Direct participants: 3,734 individuals including 1,184 healthcare providers, 1,500 students, 400 youth group members, 160 men/boys, 160 elderly, 120 People with Disability, 120 journalism students, 72 community leaders, and 18 women association members.
Indirect participants: 50,000 individuals will be reached through community-based initiatives, provided medical equipment in health facilities and national campaigns.
West Bank (North of Palestine in Tubas area, the South in Hebron) and Gaza, all districts
01.02.2023 – 31.07.2024
Austrian Development Agency (with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation)
1) Communities’ knowledge and awareness of COVID-19 and infectious diseases are improved (COVID-19, Influenza, other communicable diseases and prevention measures).
2) Capacities of health care providers to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 and other emergencies are strengthened.
3) Capacities of public health facilities are enhanced for improved infection control.
This project contributes to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs):