Meet MAP's Partners MAP IN ACTION 2016

Mohamad Aslan

Nurse in the MAP-supported Limb Reconstruction Unit, in partnership with Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza

Tell us about the work you do

I work as a nurse in the first Limb Reconstruction team in Gaza, which is a unique job. I believe that my profession is of crucial importance because of the role nurses play in ensuring the highest standards of care despite big gaps in resources at the Ministry of Health.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in this work in 2016?

This year, as part of my role in the new Limb Reconstruction unit, I was supposed to travel to the UK for a fellowship at King’s College Hospital to advance my skills, but my visa was rejected three times. This had a really negative effect on me psychologically. However, in the end, and with the help of MAP and IDEALS, I was able to finally visit King’s College Hospital in late 2016 to finish my fellowship.

What was your highlight of 2016?

A huge highlight of the year for me was being able to finally complete my fellowship. This really advanced my career and I’m now at the top of my peers when it comes to Limb Reconstruction care. Despite the difficult journey reaching my destination; I really enjoyed visiting the UK for the first time in my life.

I am very glad to have been able to work in a field which I am fascinated by. Thanks to my training, I have been able to deal with highly complex cases that I could never have dealt with previously. I have learned new dressing techniques, and more sterile methods of dealing with patients.

Hashem Hashem

Health Educator in MAP’s Reproductive Health project in partnership with Naba’a, Ein el Helweh Camp, Lebanon

Tell us about the work you do

I work for Naba’a, a local organisation, to conduct health education sessions for young people, men and women, on topics including drugs, smoking, nutrition, and sexually transmitted diseases.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in this work in 2016?

We are facing increasing challenges in our work with young people – many are becoming involved in armed conflict. When a young person graduates from school and doesn’t find work (the case of most Palestinian refugees in Lebanon), armed factions try to lure them by offering them money. Young people see this as an opportunity to get an income, but they are not aware of the risks they face as a result. This is an issue we will be working on more and more in the next year.

What was your highlight of 2016?

We do see lots of successes in our work: I also conduct awareness sessions for men - mainly with refugees from Syria that live in collective gatherings. I see what they ask for and then prepare a session. Most often, the participants ask for sessions on the topic of drugs; addiction is a common problem in the camp. After attending the sessions, many people come to the centre to ask for help. We run a programme that specifically works with drugs users and facilitates access to treatment for them. We have seen good results over the years.

It can be difficult to engage men in these ‘taboo’ topics, but I find that by meeting men where they are comfortable, they become more responsive and collaborative.

Dr Rohi Fityani

Doctor working with MAP’s Mobile Health Clinic in partnership with the Islah Charitable Society, occupied West Bank

Tell us about the work you do

I treat patients within Bedouin communities, conduct medical and clinical examinations and prescribe medicines for them. These communities are vulnerable and isolated, but they deserve the right to health just as much as all other patients in the world, regardless of their age, race, and ethnicity.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in this work in 2016?

The poor infrastructure and maintenance of the roads cause harm to the mobile clinic vehicle. These problems, and road closures by the Israeli authorities, sometimes mean that we can’t get close enough to the community we are visiting and have to conduct examinations quite far away. This causes problems for the elderly and children as they have to walk to meet the mobile clinic.

We also have a problem that men don’t always attend the medical examinations; they don’t show enough interest in their health. We are trying to counter this with health education.

What was your highlight of 2016?

My highlight has been to treat lots of patients and provide them with the medicines they need. We were also able to diagnose many people with hypertension. Hypertension is a silent disease and so we are especially glad to diagnose it at its early stages so they can get treated as soon as possible.


Photos: Richard Gray

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