Responding to mass casualties in Gaza thanks to your support

On 6 April, thousands of Palestinians gathered close to the border with Israel for the second Friday of the ‘Great March of Return’ - a series of mass peaceful protests leading up to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba on 15 May. Communities joined together at protest camps up and down Gaza to demand the realisation of the rights due to them, including the right of return for Palestinians displaced since 1948.

Israeli forces responded to those protesting closer to the fence with live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas, killing 11 protesters. Over 1,300 Palestinians were injured, many severely, with more than 700 transferred to hospital, including 81 children. In total, 32 Palestinians have so far been killed and 3,078 injured by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) continues to be greatly concerned by the kinds of wounds described by hospital staff. According to the Ministry of Health, 35 casualties are critically life threatening and 347 may result in temporary or permanent disability.

How MAP is responding to the urgent medical needs in Gaza

Donate now to help support MAP’s emergency response

MAP’s limb reconstruction project, run in partnership with IDEALS, has proven crucial for treating the high number of Palestinians suffering shattered bones. Since Israel’s 2014 military offensive on Gaza, MAP and IDEALS have been sending teams of orthopaedic surgeons from King’s College Hospital in London to Gaza. There, they have conducted vital operations for patients, and training a local team of limb reconstruction specialists, including surgeons, theatre technicians and nurses – resulting in the establishment of Gaza’s first dedicated limb reconstruction unit at Al Shifa Hospital. When the current crisis began, we released a shipment of surgical equipment to hospitals in Gaza, which was used by the MAP and IDEALS-trained surgical team at Al Shifa within the first 24 hours.

One surgical specialist visiting Gaza with MAP spent two days at the European Hospital in Gaza working alongside Palestinian colleagues treating the wounded – trying to ensure that patients were either able to avoid amputation or otherwise ensure the best-possible long-term outcome for their injuries. MAP is very grateful to her for applying her skills to help support Gaza’s emergency response.

There were 12 urgent cases awaiting surgery on Wednesday. One of the cases, a 17-year-old boy, had very severe damage to one of his legs and is at risk of gangrene, requiring extensive removal of damaged tissue.

This week our team in Gaza also heard from Dr Sami Abo Ewaymer, Head of the Physiotherapy Services in Gaza, who said that that MAP’s training programmes have helped to incorporate physiotherapists into the emergency response for the first time. He described how physiotherapists trained by MAP on musculoskeletal physiotherapy have played an important role triaging injured protesters at Emergency Departments, as they applied minor dressings and casts alongside other important tasks. Dr Abo Awaymer emphasised that their involvement was extremely useful and they will continue integrating physiotherapists in the emergency response.

Thank you to everyone who has so far supported our Gaza emergency appeal. This week, with your help, we released two shipments of essential drugs and disposables to Gaza’s Central Drug Store. This delivery was highlighted in the World Health Organizations’ latest update and will help hospitals respond to the recent influx of casualties, with more injuries tragically expected.

Please support MAP’s response to the situation in Gaza, procuring out-of-stock equipment, providing training and supporting emergency departments in Gaza, by making a donation today.

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