How mobile outreach empowers Palestinian communities
- 17 Sep 2019
Shireen Kawasmi is a mother of six children from the West Bank. She joined our Outreach Team four years ago. Below she reflects on her time with St John.
Last month, I watched an elderly lady struggle up the steps of our clinic, looking tired and hardly able to walk, supported by her two daughters. When we enquired about her past medical history it transpired she had had diabetes for over 20 years and had not been able to control it. It had completely damaged her retina and though we can provide some treatment, most of the damage caused will be irreversible.
We then screened her daughters – those she was depending on. They were both unfortunately diagnosed with an untreatable, inherited condition which causes blindness over time. This condition is mostly caused by marriages between relatives.
It was just such a needless, tragic case. With proper access to education and medical care, the Palestinian population would be able to take control of their health and the health of future generations. For me – this is what the Mobile Outreach team symbolises – empowerment of our communities.
I was sad to say goodbye to two of my colleagues due to the Mobile Outreach being cut this year. I hope that we will be able to re-instate our second team to ensure we are able to see and treat as many Palestinians as possible.
Our mobile teams see almost 40,000 patients each year thanks to the support of our donors. You are enabling us to empower communities across the occupied Palestinian territories. Thank you.