The ongoing Israeli occupation has had a damaging effect on Palestine refugees in the West Bank, who frequently face dispossession and displacement, as well as increasing humanitarian concerns arising from increased settlement construction; military violence and harassment; lack of effective law enforcement; and obstructed access to land, markets and essential services, including health services.
Within this state of constant frustration and insecurity, economic pressure and helplessness, reports of depression and violence in schools, communities and homes have all increased. The psychosocial well-being and mental health of Palestine refugees living in the recognized camps, in Area C or in areas affected by the Barrier are particularly vulnerable.
Under the Family Health Team approach, the West Bank Health programme works hard to provide refugees in the field with high-quality, comprehensive health services, from prenatal care through infant and child care, adolescent and adult health and active ageing.
Since February 2003, we have deployed six mobile health teams in the West Bank to help ensure access to health services for Palestine refugees affected by closures, checkpoints and the Barrier. Each team includes a medical officer, nurse, laboratory technician, assistant pharmacist and driver, and offers a full range of essential curative and preventive medical services to around 13,000 patients per month in over 150 isolated locations. In 2011 alone, our mobile clinic teams served a total of 160,000 people.
In addition to medical care, we also participate in the Community Mental Health programme (CMHP). Together with the UNRWA Relief and Social Services programme, we served a total of 42,933 Palestine refugees in 2012, including members from 49 Bedouin communities in Area C and throughout the West Bank.