COVID-19 update: MAP’s emergency coronavirus response in Palestine and Lebanon

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is working hard to respond to and prevent the further spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and ensure health workers there have access to the protective equipment they desperately need.
Currently as of 9 April 2020 there are 263 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the oPt and sadly one death, with 250 cases and one death in the West Bank, and 13 cases in Gaza. In Lebanon there are 575 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 19 deaths.
In this week’s Independent, Fikr Shalltoot, MAP’s Director in Gaza, described the grave fear of widespread outbreak of coronavirus in Gaza. “I fear Covid-19 could be the final blow. How can we self-isolate in one of the most densely populated places on Earth? How can we implement essential hygiene when 96 per cent of the Strip’s water is undrinkable? And should containment fail, how many of Gaza’s frontline medics will fall sick, with so little personal protective equipment?”
Responding to the urgent need to prevent the further spread of the disease in Gaza, this week MAP delivered 150 hygiene kits worth $7,500 to the Palestinian Medical Relief Society who have distributed to vulnerable families with members with disabilities. We also released 1,200L of disinfectant alcohol gel worth $20,000 to the Central Drug Store. In the short video below Saja Alquran, Central Drug Store Pharmacist, outlines how critical MAP’s continued support is:
Last week, MAP delivered 2,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gowns and 60 eye protection glasses for health workers worth $40,000 to Gaza’s Central Drug Store. These will help reduce the risk of infection for health workers involved in the assessment and care of patients with possible or confirmed COVID-19.

• The week before, on 23 March, we provided Gaza’s health sector with a 500 PPE gowns, as well as essential drugs and medical consumables worth $34,850. On 18 March, MAP released 200 hygiene kits worth $10,000 to be utilised at quarantine centres receiving people returning to Gaza.
• In the West Bank and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, MAP is also prioritising infection prevention and control, and the provision of protective equipment for health workers. In Lebanon’s camps, MAP’s community midwives continue to provide essential care to expectant and new mothers and their new-born babies. MAP has procured face masks, antiseptic lotions, and gloves so the midwives can safely conduct individual health education sessions.
• MAP is also working to slow transmission in the Palestinian camps in Lebanon by procuring and distributing vital antiseptics and disinfectants such as chlorhexidine, ethyl alcohol, glutaraldehyde and povidone iodine.
• At all times, MAP’s response is being guided by priority lists provided by the World Health Organization and Ministries of Health, whilst our well-established local and regional procurement systems will ensure that essential items reach hospitals, primary healthcare centres and community partners as quickly as possible.
• The support MAP provides in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon is only made possible thanks to the generosity of people like you. Please donate today so we can continue providing our emergency COVID-19 response to vulnerable Palestinian communities:

Source: Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)