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UNRWA Jordan delivers essential medicines to Palestine refugees in camps

By JT - Apr 05,2020 - Last updated at Apr 05,2020

Medical staff at UNRWA have begun delivering medication to Palestine refugees, with the homes of 11,394 patients receiving medicine for non-communicable diseases in the past six days, according to the agency (Photo courtesy of UNRWA)

AMMAN — UNRWA Jordan’s medical staff, consisting of doctors, pharmacists and nurses, have begun delivering medicines for refugee populations in need, according to the agency.

The UNRWA initiative is one of the agency’s precautionary measures to protect the lives and health of Palestine refugee populations by delivering essential medicines to those in need, especially in light of the spread of the coronavirus in the Kingdom and the government-imposed curfew, according to a statement made available to The Jordan Times.

UNRWA said in the statement that the first round of distribution will take approximately two weeks and that it aims to serve people with diabetes, patients with hypertension who rely on insulin, patients with chronic diseases and pregnant women who have diabetes and whose medications were due between March 21 and March 31.  

During the past six days, the homes of 11,394 patients received medication for non-communicable diseases, the statement said, adding that a total of 60 UNRWA staff members, with the support of local community voluntary groups, are working to deliver the medicines.

According to the statement, UNRWA health centres are still closed due to the imposed curfew and medicine delivery is being coordinated with the local authorities in each camp in order to deliver directly to the patients’ homes.

The local community in the camps have been “a great help” to the agency’s medical staff in the distribution of medications, UNRWA said in the statement. 

UNRWA has also been discussing with the government of Jordan about the best timing to reopen 25 Health Centres to provide vital health services while ensuring control over the gathering of people.

Under the current circumstances, the UNRWA health department advises pregnant women who are due to give birth to approach the Ministry of Health hospitals and submit their claim for reimbursement to the Area Health Office or Camp Services Officewhen the situation is safe, the statement said.

As for periodic vaccinations for children, appointments will be rescheduled until after the curfew, the statement noted, adding that UNRWA is establishing a hotline at the Health Centre for inquiries and emergencies. It will be announced as soon as it is ready. 

Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan Mohammed Adar said in the statement: “We deeply thank the Government of Jordan for its continued support to Palestine refugees and UNRWA and we particularly acknowledge the Director-General of the Department of Palestinian Affairs, Eng Rafiq Khirfan, for his invaluable cooperation and assistance provided to the agency to obtain the necessary permits for our staff to continue our operations. We are making every effort to deliver the medicines to refugee populations in-need in the most speedy manner at all camps”. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, UNRWA has offered health awareness sessions for refugees and thorough training for its medical and educational staff in its health centres and schools, both inside and outside the camps. 

Extensive environmental health activities such as cleaning and sanitising all 10 camps have been continuous since the crisis began, the statement noted.  

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