UNRWA Clinic

Our time at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency refugee camp clinic this week has been another enlightening experience. In stark contrast to last week at the Palestine Medical Complex, where the great majority of patients are complex referrals from throughout the West Bank, UNRWA’s Am’ari (Amari, Amary) clinic is 100% primary care. The clinic is divided into three general sections- non-communicable diseases (diabetes, hypertention, etc), family planning, and general practice. Also, they have all basic lab capabilities and X-ray.


The most striking aspect of the clinic I’ve noticed in two days is the number of patients the physicians are expected to see each day. With a pediatrician today (who is expected to know how to treat all ages 0-100+ due to lack of better accommodations) by my count we saw 52 patients in the 5 ½ hours I spent with him. In family practice offices in the states, I never saw more than 30-35 (if that) in an 8-10 hour day. I was actually very impressed with his treatment decisions based on such short interactions; prescriptions and protocols were similar to the U.S. and he seemed very knowledgeable on current treatments- especially in the elderly given his specialty training.


I’m looking forward to this Thursday, when I will work in the Family Planning office with the midwives. UNRWA has developed an exceptional mother/baby monitoring and record keeping system. Pregnant mothers have monthly visits where the midwives meet with, explain to, and examine them before and after seeing the physician. I expect I’ll write more on my women’s health opinions after see it later this week.



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