More than 2,100 people are now confirmed dead and thousands more injured in Gaza, since the recent conflict began.
Nearly a quarter of those killed are children.
373,000 children have been directly affected by death within their close family or destruction of their homes according to UNICEF. The psychological impact of the conflict is likely to be felt for years to come.
International Medical Corps, is preparing to launch a comprehensive mental health programme to support the most vulnerable in Gaza to deal with the psychological consequences of the conflict.
International Medical Corps’ team of doctors and nurses are also prepared to deploy, as soon as a cessation of violence allows, to provide medical services to casualties of the conflict from Al Ahli Hospital.
The 25-mile long, 6-mile wide Gaza Strip forms part of Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and is home to more than 1.5 million Palestinians. Armed conflict has broken out between Palestinian militants and Israel three times in recent years, in 2008, 2012 and most recently in 2014. The medical and psychological consequences of this violence has been profound, particularly on the children of Gaza.
International Medical Corps began working in Gaza in 2008, after Israel launched a military offensive that displaced thousands of civilians. Our response to each crisis has remained the same, providing emergency health care to those injured in the fighting, whilst also training mental health practitioners capable of delivering mental health services in the community.
World Health Organization statistics indicate that mental health disorders can increase by as much as 10% in areas of armed conflict. Since 2008, International Medical Corps partnering with the Jordan Health Aid Society have worked to increase the mental health services available to the most vulnerable in Gaza.
Activities included, screening and treating patients with a range of mental health disorders whilst also training local health care workers to identify, manage and refer common disorders such as mood swings and anxiety, as well as more severe afflictions such as schizophrenia.