Written by Fatimah.
A group of medical professionals, nursing students, and volunteers all had one goal, which was to help the helpless. We traveled to Jordan and Palestine to set up clinics within the refugee camps to provide free medical care. Together, we saw more than 1,100 people to provide first aid, wound care, medical care, consultations — and we referred children to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) for follow-up care.
We held our first free medical care day at the Gaza camp in Jerash, Jordan. More than 700 patients were seen, ranging from adults, children, and elderly. Around 150 patients were seen for dental care, 180 for vision screening, 350 patients for general care ranging from wound care to diabetic care and 45 women received pelvic/trans-vaginal ultrasounds.
Volunteers provided 23 glasses for children and adults and were in the process of providing 26 more glasses for patients in need. They distributed 60 glucometers to diabetic patients in order to check their blood sugar levels at home. 50 patients were given prenatal vitamins, 40 children were provided children’s vitamins, and around 20 women received adult vitamins and zinc tablets for wound healing. The group also passed out color crayons to the kids as well as paid for patients’ follow up labs and MD appointments. It was a crazy busy day, but the goal was to help as many people as we could.
Day 3 and 4 of of the Jordan clinic was in Mafraq city in the khaledya area, in Jordan. In the two days we spent there, we saw about 300 people — varying from adults, kids, newborns, and the elderly. The people there were suffering from pressure ulcers, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, bladder infections, rashes, tonsillitis, burns, upper respiratory infections, arthritis, possible cancerous lumps on the body, lack of nutrition, dehydration, and lacked daily necessities for proper hygiene care.
Thank you to Khalid Tuffaha and the local pharmacy who donated a huge amount of antibiotics to our mission for the kids and adults with infections, as well as Panadol. We distributed 150 food baskets to families that can last them for about 1-2 months, two water suspensors in the preschool for the kids, toys, and provided supplies for the kids’ classroom. We also distributed glucometers to diabetics, wound supplies for those who had open wounds, prenatal vitamins, and vitamins for children and adults.
I continued on to Palestine to set up clinics in the Jalazone camp with nursing and speech therapy students from Ramallah. My goal was to build a caring clinic with love and compassion for patients that the medical professionals will care about. It was important to remind the physician students through the building of the clinic that even with limited resources, we still need to do what’s right for your patient no matter the circumstances.
We saw patients with wounds, burns, flat foot, cerebral palsy… we saw children who are surgical candidates, and some with swallowing issues. There were a variety of different issues that came through the door.
Having said that, on Day 1 at the Jalazone Refugee Camp Clinic in Palestine, more than 20 nursing students from Birzeit University and two speech therapists participated in providing care for 150 children. We saw patients with wounds, burns, flat foot, cerebral palsy… we saw children who are surgical candidates, and some with swallowing issues. There were a variety of different issues that came through the door.
Referrals were all made to the PCRF for assistance in their care and follow up. We distributed children’s multivitamins and donated a water suspensor to a preschool in the camp that will provide clean water for more than 10 months. I’m very proud of these nursing students; they were very attentive and caring to each and every patient. They gave them the time they needed and provided proper nursing care.
The students were so touched by this experience that they begged me to hold another clinic in a refugee camp to help more people. There was one student, in particular, Emaa, that had watched a news report about a woman in need of help. She had two daughters living in a camp under horrible circumstances. Emaa wanted to help her and her sick daughter, and we did.
As a team, we all had a common which was to help as many people as we could. Thank you to all who donated medical supplies and funds. We hope to continue to provide this services and we are planning our next medical clinic with the PCRF in Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. If anyone is interested in helping in a future project, please reach out.