Primary healthcare in the West Bank is fragmented, overburdened and ill-equipped to deal with the aging population and management of chronic disease. This results in poor quality treatment, lack of continuity of care and increased pressure on secondary and tertiary care services. Access to health services continues to be a problem for communities isolated and cut off by the separation wall and settlements. In Lebanon and Gaza, where dire living conditions contribute to poor health, public health campaigns are especially important.
In 2016, working with An Najah medical school and the Ministry of Health, MAP launched a ground-breaking project to reform the primary healthcare system in Palestine by introducing the specialism of family medicine. By providing patients with unhindered access to quality primary health care at a family practice, we free up specialist hospital services to treat those most in need. This year we equipped two training and treatment centres with a combined catchment population of 140,000 people, and 15 doctors have started training to become specialists.
We have also continued our provision of healthcare services to Bedouin communities cut off from health facilities, providing 6,807 consultations in 2016 (pictured above). We have brought vital eye health and ophthalmic services to over 7,000 patients in the West Bank and have seen 450 surgeries performed in Gaza through our partnership with St John Eye Hospital’s mobile clinic.