MSF starts work in Jenin and Ramallah
23 April 2002
MSF staff who have visited Jenin have found the hospital there to be completely empty of patients and in need of drugs and medical supplies, as well as staff. Basic priorities of water and electricity remain. In Ramallah, on Saturday April 20, MSF staff were delayed at checkpoints for almost six hours before finally being refused entry. This repeats a series of instances where MSf has protested the unnecessary restrictions and delays placed on medical personnel trying to gain access to the injured and sick. MSF was able to gain entry the following day. MSF in the West Bank Hebron With MSF activities in Hebron in the West Bank, MSF is providing emergency medical care to the population in the city as well as the district and following areas of Yatta (35,000), Dura (30,000), Dahariyeh (8,000), Samua (7,000). Principal MSF activities include: providing emergency medical care to the sick and wounded; providing supplies to medical facilites; developing a referral system to the Hebron hospitals; escorting ambulances; assisting the local population with basic materials during periods of total curfew; offering mobile clinics for the injured and sick; and providing medical emergency kits for facilities, ambulances and general medical care. Our current staff there includes: one field coordinator, two doctors and one psychiatrist. Other activities In other cities in the West Bank, MSF has been conducting several exploratory missions in the cities that have been occupied by the Israeli army, to determine the primary health and medical needs of the population. Jenin MSF gained access to Jenin on Friday April 19 and visited the Government Hospital there. There were no patients and there was some need for drugs and additional medical staff. In the Jenin camp, the previous population, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was 15,000 people. It has fallen to between 2,000 and 3,000 people. It appears that most of people fled the camp to find refuge on the outskirts of the city. In the camp, immediate priorities are water, electricity and gathering the dead bodies. MSF has been assessing the area that surrounds Jenin. MSF teams have visited four villages (Faq Ua, Jalama, Beit Qad, Deri Abu Dai) and, at the request of the Government Hospital in Jenin, has escorted ambulances that have been servicing these villages. MSF assessments there are continuing. The staff consists of one doctor and one logistician. Ramallah MSF teams have been trying to get accesss to Ramallah in order to visit the hospitals there and deliver needed medical supplies. The city has three main hospitals. However MSF teams were delayed for five and a half hours at the Qalandya checkpoint. Finally, MSF was unable to gain access to Ramallah. Staff consists of one doctor, one logistician, and one information officer. GAZA STRIP: Access to Gaza is difficult at present. MSF is carrying out a medical and psychological intervention with home visits to the most affected population. At the same time MSF is providing psychological support to children and women in a UNRWA centre in the Nusseirat refugee camp and the villages located in the outskirts of the camp (Zahra, Mohlaga). MSF staff are assessing the situation in the various health structures (for instance: in Beit Laya, MSF has identified 12 health centers and their coordinators) and is identifying the most isolated areas and houses. MSF staff includes one field coordinator, one psychiatrist, one psychologist and one doctor.