• Rafah

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 10:43:53 AM
    Last Update : Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 10:43 AM

Small Nursery Offers Newborns and Their Mums Some Warmth in a Rafah Refugee Camp

(AWP) - Displaced Palestinian Noura al-Amawi sits in an area allocated for her and her toddler in a recently established nursery at a densely populated displacement camp in Rafah, south of Gaza. Over a million people are crammed into the city after fleeing Israeli bombardment in the north of the Strip, in the war that has been ongoing since October 7.

Although the humble nursery is merely a small room with a tent fabric ceiling, it provides the warmth and care that women and newborns need after giving birth under the harsh conditions of war and displacement.

The nursery can accommodate eight women and their babies. A doctor, a nurse, and a camp volunteer oversee the care of the mothers and their children.

Noura Al-Amawi, one of the mothers, says, “I am displaced and living in the camp and the camp nursery. They sheltered us other than a tent, in an equipped room that was not cold and provided warmth for my little girl. But we urge the provision of diapers and milk for the little ones.”

Dr Subhi Awaja, who takes care of women at the nursery, says that it was built and equipped through a donor’s contribution after the numerous difficulties experienced by women during childbirth due to Gaza’s overcrowded hospitals.

Dr Awaja added, “The mother comes to the nursery with her infant and stays for two weeks until the child receives the first week’s vaccination. We would prefer them to stay longer, but we are forced to admit another mother. We hope to serve the largest number of mothers in the camp, and their number is not small. For example, we had about 120 childbirths in the camp last month alone.”

“We are trying hard to secure diapers for children, which are very scarce, as well as milk, essential heating, and antibiotics,” he continued.
According to a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) press briefing last month, “nearly 20,000 babies have been born into this war. That’s a baby being born into this horrendous war every 10 minutes.”