MAP launches poster campaign to honour healthcare heroes in Palestine

On World Humanitarian Day, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) has begun a poster campaign to honour the Palestinian healthcare heroes who are going to extraordinary lengths to help people across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across Gaza and the West Bank, MAP has placed uplifting messages in the main hospitals, showing solidarity with doctors, nurses and other health professionals as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Healthcare workers have shown bravery and dedication, and made great sacrifices, while working under conditions of occupation, blockade and frequent attacks.

In recent interviews with MAP, healthcare workers told us how they are feeling isolated, anxious, under-prepared and under-appreciated during the COVID-19 response. They revealed how shortages of medicines and personal protective equipment, restrictions on movement, and witnessing the suffering of patients has left them physically and mentally exhausted.

“With Palestine on the brink of a fourth wave of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we stand in solidarity and show our appreciation of the sacrifices they are making.”

“Palestinian healthcare workers are facing a wellbeing crisis amid the stress on the healthcare system due to COVID-19,” said Aisha Mansour, MAP’s West Bank Director. “With Palestine on the brink of a fourth wave of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we stand in solidarity and show our appreciation of the sacrifices they are making.”

Cases of COVID-19 are rising rapidly across the oPt, with more cases of the highly infectious Delta variant emerging in the West Bank, which threatens to worsen the crisis in the fragmented and unprepared Palestinian health system. The situation has been compounded by recent attacks on healthcare in Gaza and the West Bank, and the continuing influx of injured people caused by excessive use of force against Palestinian protesters since April.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Palestinian health system and healthcare workers’ mental health is being prolonged by Israel’s failure to meet its legal duty as an occupying power to ensure rapid, comprehensive and equitable COVID-19 vaccine access in the oPt. While over 62 per cent of Israelis are fully vaccinated, only eight per cent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are.

MAP calls on the international community to support Palestinian healthcare workers and prevent a further crisis in the health system by providing technical, economic and humanitarian assistance, while also urgently taking all necessary measures to guarantee that Israel respects its duties as an occupying power toward the health and wellbeing of Palestinians.

Read more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating toll on the mental health of Palestinian healthcare heroes here.

Read our briefing paper

Read this press release in Arabic here.

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