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Trauma, grief, and PTSD in Palestinian children victims of War on Gaza PDF Print E-mail
Aug 29, 2010 at 05:20 PM

Abstract

Purpose: Exposure to war trauma has been independently associated with posttraumatic stress (PTSD) and grief in children and adults. The aim of this study was to establish the relationship between war traumatic experiences due to last war on Gaza, PTSD, and traumatic grief children.

Methods: The study was conducted in the Gaza Strip, in areas exposed to war for 23 days. The sample included 374 children aged 6-17 years. Children completed measures of experience of traumatic events (Gaza Traumatic Checklist-War on Gaza), PTSD, and Grief inventory.

Results: Palestinians children experiences variety of traumatic events: 93.9% hear shelling of the area by artillery, 93.9% hear the sonic sounds of the jetfighters, and 69% left home form more safe place, and 24.5% exposed to burn by bombs. Each child reported 12.80 traumatic events.  Results showed that 98.7% of children reported that they were not safe at homes, 96.3% were not able to protect themselves, 96% were not able to protect their family members, and 94.4% said other people outside the family were not able to protect them. The study showed that from total number of children 35 of the children said that they lost someone from the family (9.4%) and 338 said they did not loss any one (90.6%). Mean grief reactions in boys were 19.96 and 18.29 in girls. Using the previous cut-off point of CPTSD-RI, 1.3% of children showed no PTS reactions, 7.2% reported mild PTSD reactions, 29.9% showed moderate PTS reactions, and 61.5% showed severe to very severe PTS reactions. Trauma exposure was significantly associated with PTS reactions. No sex differences in reporting trauma or PTS reactions.

Conclusions: This study revealed that children living in area of conflict and war are the main scapegoats of such war and their exposure to trauma is inevitable during the war and the international laws to protect the civilians during the conflict and establishing save haven for children and their families to decrease the effect of war on children. Also, more interventions must be conducted in group base and concentrated on helping children to overcome their trauma and grief. Also, parents had to be involved in such activities to be able of detecting children with pathological grief and enable them of helping children in overcoming the effect of grief and trauma.

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Facts and Figures about the Current Darkness in the Gaza Strip

January 23rd 2008

Report from the Palestinian Hydrology Group
  1. Gaza Strip today is facing a very harsh siege which is expected to have severely negative humanitarian impact.
  2. The distribution of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater completely rely on electricity and fuel in Gaza Strip.
  3. For several months now Israel has imposed a cruel siege on the Strip preventing people and goods from free movement. This has immobilized the importing of spare parts, pumps, pipes and other necessary accessories for the water and sanitation providing facilities.
  4. According to different sources the water and sanitation services are expected to be completely paralyzed within a matter of hours due to the lack of fuel reserves.
  5. About 133 water wells are being used for domestic purposes in addition to 33 sewage pump stations and three treatment plants; 10 of these groundwater wells function using fuel while the rest rely on electricity. Diesel powered generators are normally used as backup for the whole system but only for a limited time.
    The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility needs at least 100,000 liters of diesel per month to operate the water system. An additional 100,000 liters of diesel per month are needed for the sewage system to prevent wastewater from flooding the streets and residential areas.
  6. Reducing electricity and fuel supplies are potential causes to trigger an environmental crisis especially in the wastewater pump stations and treatment plants. If wastewater is not treated it will have to be pumped directly to the sea. This will for sure have a direct and negative impact on the groundwater aquifer and marine life.
    During winter time sewage pumps need to operate about 24 hours per day due to rainfall. Therefore, interruptions in fuel and electricity supply would be particularly significant.
  7. The sewage treatment plant in Beit Lahiya is also vulnerable to interruptions in electricity supplies. The treatment lagoons must be pumped regularly, or else the 10,000 people living in the area are in danger.  Six months ago, one of the lagoons over flooded and caused the death of five persons. Proper maintenance could have prevented the disaster.
  8. The water supply in Gaza City, with a total of 600,000 residents, in addition to a major part of the central portion of the Strip is expected to be completely cut-off as a result of ceasing the pumping from the municipal groundwater wells. The City also faces the threat of overflowing wastewater since the pumps (especially Al Samer and Aqoola stations) are expected to stop operating within the next 24 hours.
  9. If the current situation should persist the solid wastes generated in the Strip will accumulate in piles on the streets endangering the health of the locals.

The WaSH Monitoring Program calls on the International Community to push Israel to immediately cease all military operations, reopen the borders to allow the movement of people and goods and provide fuel supply and humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.

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