Technical Aids for Physically Challenged Persons in Gaza Strip
November 1, 2007
The situation in the Gaza Strip is outlined in the previous report 23/2007.
El Wafa was established 20 years ago to serve the poor and elderly population of the Gaza Strip. El Wafa Elderly Nursing Home provided for people over 60 who lacked the social network for care. In 1995 they built the El Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital, which now has 52 beds. From 1995 to 2007 the hospital served 8,700 people through the Outpatient department, 1,960 inpatients and 3,670 people in community based programmes. In 2008 it was the only hospital in the Gaza Strip providing medical support and services to severely disabled people.
This funding improved the quality of life for physically challenged people in Gaza.
This funding provided 39 technical aids to facilitate regular daily activities so that patients could maintain an independent, normal, and active life. Physically challenged persons were trained to use these technical aids during their period of hospitalization. Beneficiaries may have been suffering from head injuries, spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures, post trauma musculo-skeletal disorders, or gun shot wounds leading to paralysis, deformities or dysfunction.
The aids provided support to the patients to eat, dress, bathe and generally lead an independent life; improving people’s dignity and helping the re-integration process. Training was provided for staff, patients and affected communities. The provision of these technical aids reduced the time people spent in hospital, thus freeing up hospital beds. It reduced the impact of disability, and developed community reintegration programs.
At least 100 people benefited from the use of these aids through improved quality of life to the patients and training for the staff of the El Wafa Hospital to support the rehabilitation of newly disabled people. This resulted in better recovery and increased post-rehabilitation independence for disabled people in the area. Overall, it was found that rehabilitation services improved and hospitalization times decreased, easing the capacity of the hospital. Independence and psychological health of the patients also improved.
Ahlam Abu Hadayed, 16
Ahlam was accidentally shot when gunfire started whilst she was collecting laundry from the roof of her house. The gun wound she received in the neck made her quadriplegic. Through this programme she received an air mattress, wheelchair, medical care, physical therapy and occupational therapy; greatly assisting in her recovery.