Palestine – Paramedic system support
Since 1994 Palestinian legal autonomy is issued in the Palestine-Israeli agreement. Ever since the territory has been a temporary administrative structure by the western coast of Jordan (approximately 60% of land) and the Gaza Region (approx. 6000 sq. km), these areas legally go by the name of Palestine.
Some countries treat Palestine as a country. However, most of the international community reacts differently to Palestinian autonomy. As there is in the 1993 Oslo agreement, this land is divided into three zones – each of different status:
- Zone A – Palestinian authority control of land is roughly 18 percent of the Jordan river West coastline (including the bigger cities) and the Gaza Region.
- Zone B – Palestinian and Israeli control land is 22 percent of the Jordan river West coastline and includes settlements of Arabs under Israeli military jurisdiction.
- Zone C – the Israeli-jurisdiction areas (besides Eastern Jerusalem) is 60% of the Western coastline and are under Israeli military and civil administration. The Israelis provide the locals with access to education and medical aid (including the Jewish population areas). 70% of the C zone (40 of the Western Coast) are Jewish settlements, closed military zones, nature reserves, and – so-called state lands – meaning that Palestinians cannot build permanent constructions of any kind (e.g., houses).
Approximately 3.3 million people live on the western coast of the Jordan river, including Arabs (82 percent) and 18 percent of Israelis – who gather in organized estates or Eastern Jerusalem. This area has struggled with conflicts for decades, economic withdrawal, and being dependent on the international donor market and development policies.
The PCPM Foundation has been supporting the Palestinian paramedic system since 2017. The 2019-2020 period was intense because of the partnership with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the Ministry of Health; we designed and input paramedic profession regulations and regulated the paramedics’ work time. During a 2-year course, we trained new instructor teams; furthermore, the Institute of Emergency Medical Service received essential training equipment.
As a result of the medical aid, effectiveness does not only improve the aid quality given by medical services but also the rescue time. The PCPM, together with the PRCS, implemented first-aid trainings for civilians. People from more than 40 small towns from the zone C region participated in the training. The EMS cannot access all these towns radiantly during an emergency because of distance. The practice session allows local witnesses to the incident to carry medical aid while waiting for emergency responders to arrive. More than 840 participants completed these trainings and received personal first aid kits. Dozens of local utility centers and pharmacies have received big first-aid kits.
We also provided medical equipment to close to 100 ambulances and Emergency Rooms on the West Coastline of the Jordan river. In 2020 we mainly focused on the SARS-COV2 treatment gear, such as video laryngoscopes, pulse meters, oxygen cylinders, and AED.
We also deepened the knowledge of the Palestinian Emergency Response facility, which includes Palestinian doctors, paramedics, engineers, firemen, and members of the Palestinian Civil Defense. We created countless courses, including medical ones, from the international cooperation mechanisms (UN, OCHA, and INSARAG) and crisis response.
Within the financing framework from Polish Aid Organization, we work with the Palestinian Red Cresent Society (RSCS) and Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA) can coordinate the works of the Palestinian Emergency Response facility on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Palestinian Ministry of Health.