Japanese orthopedic surgeon provides consultations for refugee patients and shares expertise with medical teams in UNRWA health centres

05 May 2016
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Yoshio Nekozuka during a presentation to Al Rimal Health Centre medical team on the type of exercises that alleviate the lower back pain. © UNRWA 2015 Photo by Mohamed Al Hinawi

From 10 to 14 April, two Japanese medical experts visited the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) health centres in Gaza city and Khan Younis, southern Gaza. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Yoshio Nekozuka and nutrition specialist Mr. Haruo Shirayama provided medical consultations for Palestine refugee patients.

“This is my third visit to Gaza to support Palestine refugee patients, I came specifically to provide consultations for persons suffering from lower back pain, and to teach them some exercises that will help alleviate their aching,” commented Dr. Nekozuka while examining one of the patients at Al Rimal Health Centre, in Gaza city. The orthopedic surgeon also conducted a training session in Rimal Health Centre for UNRWA medical officers and physiotherapists to equip them with the technique to implement the suggested exercises to alleviate the pain.

“We are really lucky to have Dr. Nekozuka here at our health centre, it’s a great chance to learn from his long experience and exchange best practices,” commented Dr. Jamil Uliyyan, Senior Medical Officer in Rimal Health Centre.

UNRWA provides primary health care to about 1.3 million Palestine refugees in Gaza strip, including maternal, child health care, non-communicable diseases and outpatient curative services.

Physiotherapy services started in the 1990s as a project and are now an integral component of services provided by the Agency. Lower back pain is a frequent complaint in Gaza because of the life style and due to lack of awareness of ways and methods to have good posture, and how to minimize the adverse impact of labour intensive, physically challenging work. Complaints of lower back pain in UNRWA clinics comprise approximately 5 per cent of all consultations and 20 per cent of cases managed at the physiotherapy unit.

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Najwa Sheikh Ahmad
Acting Public Information Officer - Gaza Field Office
Mobile: 
+972 597 920 542
Office: 
+972 8 2887 488