Palestinian Authority: Aid for resident population and Palestinian refugees

From the 1998-1999 MSF International Activity Report

International staff : 10

Since February 1998, MSF works in the southern town of SaÃ?¯da helping to strengthen the paediatric wing of Hamshary Hospital. This hospital, which is run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, mainly covers the population of two refugee camps, notably Lebanon's biggest camp Ain el Hilweh (60,000 people).

In February 1999, it also became a referral centre. MSF paediatricians work alongside Lebanese and Palestinian specialists, including a Palestinian paediatrician. An on-call system has been established. A paediatrics nurse is training five nurses to work on the paediatrics wing.

In several villages in the southern Nabatiyeh region, which border on the Israeli-occupied area, MSF runs a community-based mental health programme. Volunteer counsellors are being trained in front-line villages to provide psycho-social education for their communities and individual support and counselling. MSF is also providing, through a Lebanese agency, a district-level referral service. MSF has also trained and equipped first aid teams in eight front-line villages.

In the southern district of Jezzine, which has been cut off from the rest of Lebanon due to occupation by the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army (SLA), MSF focuses on supporting emergency medical services. MSF's anaesthetist and surgical nurse work alongside Lebanese medical staff in the Jezzine government hospital. MSF has supplied emergency equipment for the ambulances of the Lebanese Red Cross and trained local paramedics in its use. MSF is also running a one-year qualification training course for nursing aides in order to establish a pool of nurses with at least basic training.