Celebrating Palestinian nurses on International Nurses Day

Today is International Nurses Day, celebrated on 12 May each year, the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the social reformer regarded as an important founder of modern nursing.

International Nurses Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate the inspirational work of the nurses who work for Medical Aid for Palestinians’ (MAP) programmes and partners across the West Bank, Gaza and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

It is also a chance to highlight the work MAP is doing to support nurses working in these challenging contexts, from the next generation of specialist cancer nurses being trained at Bethlehem University, to nurses like Mohammed and Nasser, who MAP is helping to provide limb-saving care at Gaza’s first dedicated Limb Reconstruction Unit.

If you have received a copy of MAP’s biannual supporter magazine, Witness, you will have read about Heba and Yana; two nurses working at the Alia Hospital in Hebron, where MAP is helping to establish a specialist unit to treat patients with severe burns.

Last year MAP supported them to travel to Bangladesh with Interburns to receive on-the-job training in burns care in resource-poor environments. We spoke to Heba on her return to Palestine, to hear what she had learned from the experience:

“In the hospital in Bangladesh we got hands-on experience dealing with the patients. Seeing a whole hospital just for burns patients in Bangladesh makes me believe we will be able to offer great care to the patients coming to the burns unit in Alia hospital [in Hebron]. They have very limited resources in Bangladesh, but they are so creative in finding solutions and optimising care with what they have. We need to do the same in Palestine.

I learned more about dressings for burns patients, the psychological support they need, and about nutrition. After completing the training, I feel confident that I’ll be able to give the best care, and am hoping to share my knowledge with my colleagues in Palestine and to become a trainer myself.

Before I took this training I felt a bit scared to work in burns because it is one of the most difficult fields, but now I feel that I can do it. It was a unique opportunity and essential to guarantee the success of the newly established burns unit.”

MAP sends our sincere thanks and appreciation to Palestinian across the region for all their work and care. If you would like to support any of MAP’s projects promoting the health and dignity of Palestinians, click here.

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