Hospital worker helping patient

Early Diagnosis Saves Lives

Photo by Mohamed Reefi for CRS

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At-home medical screenings by teams of doctors and nurses provide immediate care for those with COVID-19 exposure risks.

COVID-19 has spread to more than 220 countries, leading to over 240 million confirmed cases and nearly 5 million deaths worldwide.1 The virus has been especially devastating in the Gaza Strip, where a fragile health system struggles to cope. The Palestinian Authority’s health ministry had confirmed more than 1,500 deaths and registered 180,000 cases2 in Gaza as of October 25, 2021, despite limited testing capacity.

“The project wonderfully serves the community as the patients receive treatment without moving from their homes.”

Dr. Ziad al Kahlout
Mobile Outreach Team Doctor

Thanks to generous funding from the United States Agency for International Development, CRS and our partners are providing life-saving support through the COVID-19 Emergency Response project across the West Bank and Gaza. A project component that has been particularly important during the most recent surge of cases is the provision by partner Caritas Jerusalem of at-home medical screenings for those with COVID-19 exposure risks.

Teams of doctors and nurses are deployed across Gaza daily, complementing screenings with key messages on how to mitigate the spread of the virus, and providing soap, alcohol gel, and cloth face masks. Since May, 40,000 individuals in over 6,800 families have received support from these teams. During one such visit, Dr. Ziad al Kahlout, a mobile outreach team doctor, noticed that the patient, who was nine months pregnant, was experiencing shallow breathing. Her severe symptoms coupled with her pregnancy put her at high risk of health complications. He immediately referred her and called an ambulance. Through follow-up, Dr. Al Kahlout was delighted to learn that the patient had recovered from the severe COVID-19 symptoms and given birth to her first child. The urgent medical evaluation and referral had ensured that she received the treatment essential for both her and her baby.

180,000+ COVID-19 cases have been registered in Gaza as of October 25, 2021, along with 1,500 deaths.

In the last two months, Dr. Al Kahlout has referred 19 patients for immediate life-saving support. Thanks to USAID, families are receiving the essential health services they need, and the home-based nature of this support means they are protecting themselves and others.

1. WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard, October 25, 2021.
2. Palestinian Authority MoH, October 25, 2021.