It all began when Mohamad Abu Moghasib and his wife decided to give back to their neighbors in the impoverished Gaza village of Wadi Salqa.
The couple are pharmaceutical experts who once worked at clinics in Saudi Arabia. After years of service abroad, they returned to their home village with knowledge and expertise. In 2003, they started using a space in their house as a neighborhood clinic. It has been running now for over a decade. They offer a variety of services to the poor villagers of Wadi Salqa.
“We receive desperate patients day and night,” said Mohamed, also known as Abu Hossam. “We never close our doors to anyone. We operate 24 hours a day and have an unlimited number of patients.”
Mohamed and his wife Om Hossam are famous and beloved in their village. They are always welcomed by their neighbors who trust in their care. “During emergencies, we offer first aid and primary care. Villagers would need to wait almost an hour to get transportation to other clinics,” said Om Hossam.
We receive desperate patients day and night. We operate 24 hours a day and have an unlimited number of patients.
A History of Family Service
Dedication runs in the family history. Om Hossam smiles as she tells the story of her name, Maezooza, meaning “the most cherished.” She is the youngest of seven daughters and her father chose this particular name to break the stigma that favors boys over girls. “My father gave me his bravery and persistence,” she said.
The couple also treats animals when they can. Om Hossam recalls one day when a woman came crying for help. Her goat had broken his leg. “We treated the fracture and wrapped the goat’s leg with gauze and bandages,” said Om Hossam.
This winter, the couple collected warm clothing like coats, hats and gloves. After cleaning and ironing each garment, they donated them to less fortunate families who struggle in Gaza’s cold winter.
Winter's Challenges in Wadi Salqa
Like many other places in the winter, wind and cold bring sickness to Gaza. Children are most commonly afflicted. Madline and her 8-year-old daughter Lama came to the family clinic after a long, sleepless night. Lama had a fever, a runny nose, a hoarse cough and inflamed tonsils. After a check up, the little girl was prescribed an antibiotic to help her heal.
This antibiotic covers a broad range of infections caused by bacteria. It treats a broad range of infections, from the ear to the urinary tract. “These infections are so frequent in Wadi Salqa. Children in particular are susceptible to germs. With the temperature dropping, we see many cases like Lama’s,” said Abu Hossam.
Before Madline sets off for home among the green groves of olives and oranges, Abu Hossam explains to her how to use the medicine properly.
“We call them the parents of the village,” said Madline as her daughter grips her hand. “I hope my child gets better soon, so she can play and have fun with her other siblings.”