Struggling Mothers and the Burdens of Poor Health

August 26, 2021

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The health sector in the Gaza has been under siege for over 13 years and is now trying to cope with the global Covid-19 Pandemic. Shortages of vital medicines and disposables as well as limited beds, equipment and staff continue to make proper care for patients problematic.

For thousands of people, accessing regular treatment of emergency care has become more and more difficult. This means many people are suffering and trying to manage alone, and causing themselves further harm and limiting their quality of life. We spoke with three brave mothers trying to manage ill health, poverty and supporting their families.

Hamida is a mother to eight children and we heard of her struggles as a carer of multiple family members with long term health issues. Her husband has been unable to work due to both mental and physical health issues and this has further entrenched the family in poverty and debt. Hamida’s main concern is her young son who suffers from a congenital defect that has made him unable to control his urination and he needs to wear diapers. She expressed her worries for him being bullied and not being a happy teenager because of this condition. He has had three unsuccessful surgeries and he is due to begin school, and she is unable to afford the diapers that he needs daily. The family live in a home that is overcrowded and floods with rain and sewage in bad weather. Hamida’s distress and worry for her family is evident, and she is reliant on assistance and credit from the grocery store to survive.

As a domestic violence survivor and mother of three young children, Aida is trying to survive and care for her children and her parents with no regular income. She left her husband to prevent herself and her children facing violence and now lives with her mother, father and family in an overcrowded home and is reliant on financial aid from the government. Her own health has suffered and she has been coping with a kidney infection that she cannot afford the daily treatment for. Aida expressed her concern that she couldn’t provide food for her children and that she wanted a safer home for herself and her elderly parents.

Yasmeen’s young son, Yusuf, has been suffering from rickets. The ongoing food security faced by families in Gaza has had a shocking impact on the growth of young children and stunting and rickets are a concern for many children. With only a small amount in financial aid from the government to survive on, the family have been living in a small room with no actual bathroom or kitchen. Yusuf needs medication to reverse his condition and ensure he doesn’t suffer ongoing consequences, however Yasmeen is struggling to afford it for the amount of time needed. She told us she has been unable to provide her other children with school supplies because she must pay for Yusuf’s medications. The ongoing stress of looking after Yusuf alongside her other children and unwell husband has put a strain on Yasmeen and caused her heartache and fear.

There are many more mothers and fathers in Gaza that are trying to support their children’s health and well-being despite poverty and a lack of available support. iF Charity is committed to providing relief and care for these families, and we can only do this with your help. You can help provide food aid, financial support and help us find solutions to healthcare and employment issues but donating to our Gaza Family Fund.

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