Monday, August 10, 2009

Piecing the Injured Back Together

By Eva Bartlett

"GAZA CITY, Aug 10 (IPS) - On a Saturday morning in Gaza city, the Artificial Limb and Polio Centre (ALPC) is filled with people waiting to see the director, Dr. Hazem Al-Shawwa.

Following consultation with him and with the specialist in prosthetics and orthotics rehabilitation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), many will begin the long road to treatment......

Ghrub and Najjar are among the many waiting for a consultation this particular Saturday. The artificial limb centre is unique in that it makes and fits the limbs on the premises. With the help of staff from the ICRC and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), it also provides physiotherapy and other support.

The centre is overcrowded – it is the only one of its kind. The waiting list has lengthened dramatically since the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Gaza's Ministry of Health says between 120-150 new patients have had to have amputations following the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Gerd Van de Velde, head of the ICRC's physical rehabilitation team in Gaza, says the number could rise with patients whose wounds worsen......"

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