10 January 2008 Edition
Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians launched
A NEW charitable organisation has been launched – Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians (Irish MAP).
Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh joined a cross-party group and a large contingent from the diplomatic corps in Ireland and many NGOs just before Christmas to get the project offering practical assistance to the Palestinian people underway.
With most Palestinians living as refugees either in their own land or in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, and with the continuing effects of the ongoing military occupation, the health care system is in dire straits.
Children suffer from chronic malnutrition and there is a high rate of mental illnesses. The life expectancy is years lower than that in Ireland. The current health services in Palestine simply cannot cope.
The ongoing conflicts in the region and the physical barriers the Israeli regime have put in place all combine to make it near impossible to operate normally as doctors, nurses, basic supplies, equipment and training is not available for a health service anywhere, let alone in a war zone.
IMAP was set up in the belief that good health is a basic right and access to appropriate health care is an integral element of that right – one being denied the Palestinians.
Irish MAP will work with all sectors of Palestinian society and with sister organisations from outside Palestine for the improvement of health in Palestine.
The first two major projects Irish MAP is undertaking is the training of Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance personnel to the level of Emergency Medical Technician, the refurbishment of the only mental health hospital in Palestine (in Bethlehem), and the development of community mental health teams.
Irish MAP will be holding a number of fund-raising events in the near future.
If you are interested more details, in organising a fund-raising event, helping out financially or in others ways, Irish MAP can be contacted at [email protected] or at +353 87 7630 665.