Lajee Center, in cooperation with 1For3 Organization and international health experts has recently launched a project meant to develop health services and support refugees in Aida and Beit Jibrin refugee camps, due to the lack of adequate health services and treatment of chronic diseases (especially diabetes and hypertension), in addition to the lack of any health center in the two camps.
The project, titled Community Health Workers, is the first of its kind in Palestine, and a link between the doctor and the patient by following up on their health status.
On 28 January 2018, Lajee has published a job recruitment ad to find Community Health Workers from the local community. 25 people applied for the job, and six people were selected based on specific criteria.
Following that, Lajee held meetings and lectures with international and local specialists in order to train the medical team on how to deal with previously mentioned chronic diseases. The workers also received field training on the integration in the medical community.
On 11- 15 February 2018, the project founders met with those who were accepted for the job in order to be introduced to the project, its work plan, goals and future.
The team consisted of the director of Lajee Center, Salah Ajarma, Project Director, Nashat Jawabreh, Medical Director, Mohammad Abu Srour, Project-Based Professor, Bram Wispelwey, in addition to the Project Coordinator, Shatha AlAzzeh.
Dr. Bram started giving lectures on hypertension and teaching health workers how to measure blood pressure, using equipment and number readings under the supervision of the medical staff. On 22 February 2018, the Health Workers underwent and exam about what they learned on hypertension, while health researcher Henry explained the detailed nature and requirements of the work of Community Health Workers.
On 23February, Dr. Bram held a lecture on diabetes, including its symptoms, treatment and medications. During the training period, workers collected information and made a presentation about the complications of these chronic diseases and about the project as well.
In march 2018, the remaining meetings and lectures were held and on 8-9 march, Psychologist Professor Devin gave lectures on the psychological obstacles that may be faced by health workers in the camp and how to deal with these cases.
The health team was trained at the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation, and another was trained in a health clinic for two days.
The field visits for the patients in the two camps officially started on 15 March 2018. The workers introduced the families to the project and the nature of their work. They collected information about patients' cases, established good relations with them and followed up on their cases until the end of their work. In addition, the workers kept their medical information in a record to track it.
Dr. Mohammad Abu Srour gave lectures on the medication of diabetes and hypertension to health workers. Later they met with social worker Hamza Daghash, in addition to the project manager and the coordinator, to discuss the drafting of the reports.
During the month of April, the community health workers re-visited the patients in Aida and Beit Jibrin camps to follow up with their cases. They made a schedule for the names and time for medications, in addition to setting a calories diet for each patient in order for them to be aware of what to eat and when to eat it in coordination with the medicine.
The most recent meetings were held with social worker Hamza Daghash. The health workers also met with the project coordinator, Nashat Jawabreh, where it was agreed to have a first aid course during the month of May.
Names of health workers:
1. Mohammed Ahmed Roumi
2. Mahmoud Tayseer Al-Mashayekh
3. Sara Mohammad Al-Azza
4. Maryam Ahmed Darwish
5. Rama Waheeb Abu Srour
6. Ashgan Jumaa Dareweis