Reference : V-P-IL-E-03006
Date : 20/04/2017
Caption : Rafah, Al-Mawasi. This physician was commissioned by the Ministry of health to assume the coordination with the ICRC at the Mawasi clinic.
Photographer : ALWAHEIDI, Nidal
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : This 46 years old man has been a physician for the last 17 years. He is from the al-Mawasi region, located between Khan Yunis and Rafah, an area known for its farmlands and produce. In the years after 2000, the region faced tight restrictions; only the local residents (8,500 people) were allowed to enter the region through a gate and the area was completely cut off from the rest of the Gaza Strip. After Dr. Khaled graduated, up until 2000, he worked as a physician at the Ministry of health. When his area of al-Mawasi became separated from the Gaza Strip, Ministry of Health employees were instructed to work at the nearest hospital or clinic. So he worked as head of the sole clinic available at the time in al-Mawasi.
Two teams worked at the Mawasi clinic; one from the Ministry of Health and another from the Palestinian military medical service. The clinic had a laboratory as well as an ambulance, which belonged to the Palestine Red Crescent Society. When the clinic faced shortages of medical supplies, he approached the ICRC through the Palestine Red Crescent Society in order to get fresh supplies. But he knows that the organisation works not just in the medical field, but also in a number of other areas. His awareness comes mainly from the ICRC’s follow-up work with the farmers and fishermen who make up the population of al-Mawasi. Dr. Khaled explains: “I used to call the ICRC to visit the fishermen and follow up the needs of the population in general. The ICRC always expressed its sympathy to the residents of al-Mawasi.”
Meeting the population’s medical needs was among the major difficulties that faced the Strip in the early 2000s. Dr. Khaled used to contact the Ministry of health, which commissioned him to coordinate directly with the ICRC. “We trusted the ICRC to bring in the medical supplies. Since we started dealing with the ICRC, this matter became much easier.”
Looking back, he remembers many harsh times, but also some happy ones. He recalls for instance the difficulties he faced in arranging for patients in need of dialysis to get treatment at a leading hospital in the Strip which was outside of his closed-off town. The clinic turned to the ICRC, which coordinated with the Israeli side. Transporting these sick patients was a true achievement, as it saved their lives. The moment he will certainly never forget is the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip, which meant that his area was opened up and was once again part of the Gaza Strip.
He now works at a clinic at Tal Sultan, in Rafah. But when he compares himself to the colleagues who studied medicine with him in Romania, he realizes that his contemporaries were able to develop their skills, update their medical knowledge and gain outside experience, none of which he was able to do, by virtue of living in Gaza. He believes that the medical sector and particularly doctors in Gaza suffer from having lost contact with the developments in medical science and are now lacking in many specialized areas
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5760x3840
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour