NURSING MISSION TO GAZA
Project Rozana recently arranged for the founders of Nurses from the Middle East, Naela Hayek and Julie Benbenishty PhD, and senior ICU nurses working with Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, to work with their Gazan counterparts to deal with the issues raised by the Ministry of Health.
Naela Hayek and Julie Benbenishty
The spiralling infection and death rate in Gaza and the desperate need to train ICU medical personnel, prompted the Gaza Ministry of Health (MOH) to issue an urgent request to Project Rozana in December last year.
Dr Abdullatif Alhaj, Director General, International Cooperation with Gaza’s Ministry of Health, arranged for Mohammed Alhaj, chief nurse at the European Gaza Hospital (EGH), to liaise with Project Rozana staff in Israel.
EGH is the largest COVID hospital in the enclave.
The goal was to enhance the knowledge, skills, and best practices of Gazan health-care professionals dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Project Rozana had already established its credentials with the leaders in Gaza’s healthcare system by providing the Palestinian Authority with ICU and non-ICU enabled ventilators together with support and training earlier in 2020.
Ron Finkel AM, Chair of Project Rozana International said,
“The Palestinian health system’s capacity to cope with the drastic increase in cases remains severely affected by longstanding health system challenges and critical shortages in infrastructure and human resources.
The pandemic has posed a huge challenge for healthcare providers who need additional knowledge and skills to respond effectively.
Capacity building in human resources to test and treat COVID- 19 must run in parallel to equipping health care facilities.”
Project Rozana arranged an initial meeting between the EGH and Hadassah on December 28 to outline the desired format and target audience.
Regional Director of Project Rozana International, Dr. Raed Mansour, and Project Rozana Israel Executive Director, Ronit Zimmer, were also present at the virtual meeting,
A further meeting was held on January 5, 2021 to identify the needs and gaps in training and capacity for the COVID-19 crisis in Gaza. Mohammad was joined by 20 nurses from EGH, while Naela and Julie were joined by senior medical personnel from Hadassah.
Given the circumstances, it was agreed that the online sessions would be run along the lines of ‘Train the Trainer’. Senior nurses with ICU and COVID-19 experience would then be able to train junior nurses in the hospital. This would continue the ‘trickle-down effect’ for nurses throughout the MOH in Gaza.
The following modules informed the sessions held throughout January and February this year…
- Protection from COVID-19 for nurses in ICU
- Types of Oxygen Therapy uses in ICU ADVANCED MODES OF VENTILATION
- Advanced modes of ventilation
- Nitrus Oxide and ECMO for COVID-19 management
- Patient monitoring (Hemodynamic and Respiratory) in the ICU
- Case Studies
- SimulationsThe Executive Director of Project Rozana,
Ruth Ramone Rosen, said that the reality of COVID and the geopolitical pressures in the region prevented face-to-face training.
“But the relationships of mutual respect, trust and support being built will provide a solid platform for expanding this initiative in the future.”