Sunday, May 20, 2012


عمان الجديد مخيم الوحدات عيادة الصحة

Amman New Camp Wihdat Health Clinic

Established in 1955 to accomodate some 5,000 Palestinian refugees, the al-Wihdat refugee camp is currently home to over 50,000. The camp is overcrowded, poverty-stricken, and disorganized. One health center run by the UNRWA services over 1000 patients a day with limited supplies and overworked staff.

This summer our team will partner with the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) while conducting research on the Palestinian refugees living in Wihdat. Palestinian refugees, or visitors as they are officially called by the government of Jordan, experience a sense of disenfranchisement, due to the many areas of public policy that affect their status in the country. While the Palestinian community can be issued Jordanian passports, they are not issued social IDs that would allow them to work and receive medical benefits from the government. This leads to lack of access to proper healthcare, due to high rates of private healthcare in Amman. The inability to work, high cost of private healthcare, compiled with other issues associated with poverty (malnutrition, unsafe water supplies), the Palestinian refugees' health status has been declining. 

Our research, per request of UNRWA, will primarily be collecting and statistically analyzing data collected through surveys we have developed and databases we've been given access to. The research will consist of the development of hypotheses for the possible causes of the high rates of respiratory disease, diabetes, hypertension, pediatric diseases, and obstetric related diseases within the camp. 

I'm excited and anxious, trying to learn everything and prepare as much as possible beforehand. 

I just want to be there now. 

This post is partially credited to former Global Seminars student, Eric Leas.