Virtual Therapy Program during spread of Covid-19

Impact of the spread of Covid -19

Life after Coronavirus will look nothing like life before it. On both an organizational and individual levels, people have gained new experiences that will change their perspective for the rest of history. Now we all stand, perhaps for the first time, on the same ground, seeking to protect our communities and develop humanitarian initiatives to ensure the safety of the earth and its people.

Organizations around the world are expressing huge concern about the far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has directly affected life on a global scale. However, following a total lockdown, the institutions in many countries, are meeting and overcoming the challenges this unprecedented situation has brought.

Our health organizations, in particular, have been deeply affected. Many hospitals have faced a shortage of medical expertise, equipment and PPEs, others have reported a financial crisis and some have had to close their doors in response to government instructions.

Our Response

JPBC was one of the organizations that had to close its doors for a while. However, the leadership quickly turned its attention to finding creative solutions to sustain services for our Palestinian children with disabilities in East Jerusalem, West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

This resulted in our Virtual Care Model, which was developed to reach our Palestinian children with disabilities to continue to provide them with their Comprehensive Rehabilitation treatment. It also enabled us to support families through the Mother and Family Empowerment Program.

The General Director, Violette Mubarak, explained that the team worked hard to assess who would most benefit from the Virtual Care Model. Parents were contacted and a unique individual therapy program was devised for each child as was the usual practice whilst ensuring that infection control training and psychosocial support were priorities.

In addition, our Medical Director Dr. Waddah Malhees, adds that:

“It is our role as a National Rehabilitation Centre for referrals, to assuage parents’ fears and continue providing our services to their children with disabilities. Our Virtual Care Model is compelling, since we already train the families to become ‘Shadow Therapists’ at our Centre through the Mother and Family Empowerment Program, so their interaction was flawless.”

Outreach program coordinator, Lucy Ghrayeb also applauded the success and smooth running of this model of therapy and adds that: “we continue to develop and improve this service”.

Virtual Care Model- Statistics

The Child Rehabilitation Centre’s Medical Team includes the Medical Director, therapists, nurses and social workers and together they have, provided 835 virtual sessions for children with disabilities from West Bank over the past three months. These virtual sessions have included Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychological Support, Infection Control awareness sessions and Medical Care.

In April, May and June, a total of 50 families from the West Bank joined the program, where they were provided with 835 different therapy sessions. 7 Families from East Jerusalem received 13 therapy sessions during April and May in the JPBC child development unit. The ages of the patients ranged between 18 months and 15 years. 31 of these were male and 26 were female.

It is worth noting that every family received a 40-minute Infection Control session by our Infection Control Officer, to raise their awareness about the virus and to offer them guidance about hygiene, self-care and protection. The social worker, also worked closely with the families given the psychological impact of quarantine on both children and parents.

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