Supporting health services in Jerash Palestinian Refugee Camp
Jordan's Jerash Camp, located in the north of the country, is home to more than 31,000 Palestinian refugees, the majority of whom are unemployed and facing poverty and a range of healthcare needs. A cloud of despair hangs over the community.
Amal TashToush, the director of the Jordan Medical Aid for Palestinians (JMAP) health center in Jerash camp, understood the gravity of the situation. Since its inception in 2000, the center has tirelessly strived to provide comprehensive medical services, especially for refugees without national ID numbers. Yet a significant infrastructure obstacle remained: the absence of an elevator. That made access difficult for the center’s elderly and disabled patients.
Recognizing the need, Anera's donor community has supported the clinic to not only install an elevator but also delivered crucial medical donations, including expensive chronic medications and funding for eyeglasses. The impact was profound. Routine eye exams for patients became the norm, and eyeglasses were provided to those who couldn't afford them.
For many, it was life-changing, as one young patient explained. "Now I can see things clearly!"
"Now I can see things clearly!"
With the support of Anera, JMAP clinic's team worked tirelessly to expand their services, introducing more medical care and physical therapy. The prevalence of diseases has been exacerbated by the deep-rooted tradition of marriage between two blood-related individuals who are second cousins or closer. The incidence of cerebral palsy, thalassemia, and anemia, among other diseases, was high. So the staff also took on a mission to educate refugees on the risks and consequences of marriage between cousins.
One of the many camp residents who relies on the medical center is Nasreen. With a family of seven and an unemployed husband, Nasreen's struggles are immense. Her husband occasionally finds manual labor or seasonal agricultural work, but the absence of a national ID made finding work that much more difficult. Paying for healthcare was an immense challenge.
Three of Nasreen's children have vision problems. The cost of medical examinations at the typical health provider is far beyond their means. So is a pair of glasses, which typically run $55 to $85 (40 to 60 dinars).
At the JMAP clinic, Nasreen’s children recently received eye exams and prescription glasses free of charge. The center’s services provided Nasreen with immense relief, knowing that her children could now see clearly.