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Gaza: improving services for the physically impaired

26-01-2011 News Release 11/17

Jerusalem/Gaza (ICRC) – Improved services will be available to physically impaired people in the Gaza Strip starting 27 January, when an extension to the Artificial Limb and Polio Centre will be inaugurated.

The Gaza City facility, run by the municipal authorities and supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), provides a healing environment for the physically impaired and promotes their rehabilitation and re-education. The centre also has a well-equipped workshop that manufactures prostheses and orthoses.

"This inauguration is a historic event, representing a milestone in the improvement of services to people with disabilities," said Hazem Al Shawwa, the director of the Artificial Limb and Polio Centre. "It is very significant for the Gaza Strip, whose inhabitants are living in very difficult conditions."

Over 2,800 people received treatment at the centre in 2010, a 64 per cent increase over the previous year's total. The newly renovated centre will be able to cope with the growing demand for its services while expanding its range of activities and maintaining high standards.

"Disabled people require specialized care to recover from their infirmities," said Khuram Shaikh, the ICRC's physical rehabilitation manager in Gaza. "By responding to their needs, the ICRC is helping them to move one step closer to reintegration within their community."

The ICRC has been providing the Artificial Limb and Polio Centre with technical support and supplies since 2007. As part of its expansion and renovation of the centre, it equipped it with a new 110-kilovolt-ampere generator to handle the increased electrical load. In addition, it installed a new elevator and built a new entrance road to improve accessibility for the disabled.

"The ICRC will maintain its support for the Gaza centre, which addresses the essential needs of physically impaired people on a daily basis," said Irfan Sulejmani, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Gaza. "The ICRC remains committed to doing its utmost to support these efforts."

 

For further information, please contact:
Umar Phiri, ICRC Gaza, tel: +972 599 60 30 15
Cecilia Goin, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 91 50
Nadia Dibsy, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 91 48


Photos

Staff at a rehabilitation centre help a man learn how to walk again. 

Staff at a rehabilitation centre help a man learn how to walk again.
© ICRC

A technician at Gaza's artificial limb and polio centre puts the finishing touches to an artificial leg. 

A technician at Gaza's artificial limb and polio centre puts the finishing touches to an artificial leg.
© ICRC