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Access to healthcare for children in Palestine

Wednesday, 9th of May 2018 Print

BMJ Paediatr Open. 2017 Nov 25;1(1):e000115. doi: 10.1136/bmjpo-2017-000115. eCollection 2017.

Access to healthcare for children in Palestine

Waterston T1Nasser D2.

1 Institute of Health and Society, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

2 Juzoor for Health and Social Development, Ramallah, Palestine.


Currently, 5 million Palestinian refugees live in Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon and around 40% of these are children. Mortality rates for Palestinian children are comparable to neighbouring Arab countries but the speed of reduction has faltered in recent years. Morbidity is greatly affected by the occupation which has increased violence towards children, mental health problems and poor nutrition, particularly in Gaza which is experiencing a health crisis. Access to healthcare for children in Palestine is constrained as a result of the requirement for visas to travel into Jerusalem where specialist hospitals are sited, by difficulties with ambulance transfers, by shortages of equipment in hospitals and by lack of trained staff. Palestinian health workers are developing new initiatives in healthcare and show a high level of resilience, despite the very considerable stress affecting most citizens.