UN highlights MAP’s unique work treating limb injuries in Gaza

In its Humanitarian Bulletin this month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has featured Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)’s vital support for the treatment of limb injuries in Gaza. The update includes a profile of our work as “the only organization dealing with late and complex limb reconstruction injuries in Gaza”, including regular surgical missions and on-the-job training for local teams. It also features the story of Mohammed Abu Jazar – who was shot at the “Great March of Return” protests in Gaza – and how MAP’s programme has helped him recover from his devastating injury.

Mohammed Abu Jazar is a 41-year-old father of six children was injured on 14 May, 2018, the most devastating Great March of Return demonstration to date, with 59 killed and over 2,600 injured.

“It was the third time for me to take part in a demonstration. Before that I only sat in the tents, but this time I was looking out for my children who had arrived there before me. Within five minutes of arriving, when I was at some 150 meters away from the fence, I was shot in my right leg.

I had severe pain following my injury. The bullet caused an injury that affected the veins, arteries and bone. While waiting to be treated, the main artery in my leg exploded and I was admitted to the operations room the European hospital in Khan Younis.

I underwent a number of surgeries, including two for the external fixator, which made my injury worse. Later I got a more sophisticated fixator used for complex fractures. I was very lucky to receive this, although during all this time, I couldn’t walk. I was totally dependent on a wheel chair.”

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Mohammed doesn’t work and receives only 1,300 NIS from the Ministry of Social Development every three months. “We used to buy all the medications out of our own pocket, and I had to borrow money from others or go into debt. Seven months following my injury, the high committee of the GMR started paying 600 NIS every 30-40 days and do medical checks to evaluate the injury.

“Recently the doctors said that I’m doing well and that the TSF device could be removed. Since then, I have had teams of physiotherapists visiting me every month and I have been attending the Limb Reconstruction outpatient clinic run by MAP. I really appreciate that I was chosen to be evaluated by the mission and really want to continue receiving care from them.”

Mohammed is now able to stand and walk with his children without the assistance of a wheel chair or crutches, and is currently looking for a job that is suitable for his condition.

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