MAP launches brand new mobile clinic in the West Bank

This month, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) was delighted to launch the brand-new mobile clinic in partnership with the Islah Charitable Society, at a ceremony in Jericho attended by officials from the Ministry of Health (MoH) Jericho Directorate and representatives of the Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley.

The old mobile clinic has been serving the Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley for the past 10 years. But so much driving off-road and over rocky tracks to reach these communities damaged the van and it was in urgent need of replacement. Thanks to the generosity of MAP supporters, who raised £140,000 to save our service, a new mobile clinic has now been procured and kitted-out.  Now MAP can continue serving marginalised Bedouin communities for another decade.

The new clinic

This new vehicle includes the amenities of an entire GP clinic and provides primary health services, first aid training, health education sessions and maternal health care. It will continue to bring doctors, nurses and community health workers to the Bedouin communities.

 “We have been partners with MAP for so many years, and this is our most valuable partnership,” said Director of ICS Wafaa Qadi at the ceremony. “Because of the Israeli occupation and their illegal settlements, these communities are isolated from all the essential services and they live in very harsh conditions. That is why, together with MAP, we wanted to meet the need of 3,243 people to receive and access primary health care services.”

“It is important to note that only ICS and MAP offer this service in these communities, aside from  the mobile clinic of the Ministry of Health itself.”

The new mobile clinic is better equipped than the previous one. It has a better electricity supply, including solar power. It has all the equipment needed for a GP clinic, including an ultrasound machine to assess pregnant women, and an ECG machine to test for heart conditions. The frequency of visits to each community will also increase to twice a month.

Serving 27 communities

The 27 Bedouin Communities reside in Area C,  the 60% of the West Bank where Israel maintains full military and civil control even after more than 50 years of occupation.  Here, Israeli authorities restrict Palestinian development by consistently denying building permits, and frequently demolishing buildings such as homes, schools and animal shelters. There is consequently not a single permanent Palestinian health centre for the 300,000 Palestinians living in the area. Along with other factors such as poverty and restrictions to accessing water, these communities face significant challenges to their rights to health and dignity, and mobile clinics like this constitute a literal lifeline.

The mobile clinic reaches out to 595 households, delivering consultations and medications to patients situated hours from the nearest hospital or health clinic. The people most commonly using the service are pregnant women, patients with chronic diseases, and children under the age of five. They all receive appropriate consultation, follow-ups with proper medications and supplements.

The clinic registers new-born babies, and facilitates vaccinations for children according to the MoH’s guidelines. The clinic provides services to people with disabilities who can access the clinic. For those who can’t, home visits are arranged.

In addition, the medical staff of the clinic distribute hygiene kits and offer health education sessions and first aid training – potentially life-saving for days when the clinic is not there, given the long drive to the hospital.

“They are doing an incredible job to our children and women

“All of us in my community, especially women and children, wait impatiently for the clinic to visit us,” said Mohamad Rashayda, the leader of Al Rashayda Bedouin community. “It brings a doctor, a nurse and the needed medications. This mobile clinic is the only regular healthcare provider for our community, and the only reliable way for patients to receive their medications.”

“As Bedouins in Area C, we are constantly isolated from essential services. We are marginalised, and we are a constant target of Israeli occupation policies, including home demolitions and destruction of basic infrastructure. We are also a direct target of settler violence and land confiscation. Can you imagine living in an area without health services? That is why we are truly thankful for ICS and MAP, they are doing an incredible job to our children and women.”

Dr. Araab Anani, Director of Jericho Health Directorate, said: “The mobile clinic fundamentally supports the Health Directorate of Jericho, by constantly responding to the health needs of people that we are unable to reach. We have one mobile clinic at MoH, but our capacity allows us to target some villages of the Jordan Valley, we cannot reach the distant Bedouin communities.”

“That is why we are in constant collaboration with ICS. We are grateful to the reliable and consistent work with MAP, as they are the only organisation that did not stop their funding to support these marginalised communities.”

If you would like to support our mobile clinic, and MAP’s work across the occupied Palestinian territory, please consider donating today!