An HI physiotherapist with a patient | © Oriane Van De Broeck / HI
Days before the anniversary of the Great March of Return on 30 March, HI is concerned about growing tension in Gaza in recent weeks. Further violence could lead to a surge in injuries, placing further pressure on already overwhelmed surgical and rehabilitation services. HI is calling on all parties to exercise restraint and avoid violence with potentially disastrous consequences for civilians.
Since March 2018, 266 people have been killed and some 30,000 have been injured in protests (WHO figures). Of these, more than 6,500 people were injured by live ammunition; 91% of them have limb injuries.
According to Bruno Leclercq, head of HI’s mission in Palestine:
Since April 2018, HI and its local partners have provided rehabilitation care to more than 2,000 people and their caregivers through 10 teams of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, psychologists and social workers. In all, more than 55 people work in the field on a daily basis. HI plans to beef up its teams in the coming weeks in order to expand its care and treatment of the injured and prepare for the needs of future casualties.