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Working Together to Improve Public Health in Wasateyeh

Published 07/21/2017 by Global Communities

Working Together to Improve Public Health in Wasateyeh

CET and DOH Work Together to Improve Health Services and Reduce Tensions in the Community
A Wasatyeh community member receives services in the dental office equipped through USAID CEP.
The sudden influx of Syrian refugees put significant pressure on the already strained health services in Wasatyeh. As the health care service providers struggled to serve a 20% increase in population, the quality of services deteriorated and tensions in the community rose. Poorly equipped health centers started referring patients to the regional hospital, but those who could afford the transportation costs faced long waiting periods.

In response, the Wasateyeh community enhancement team (CET) worked with the Directorate of Health (DOH) to develop a comprehensive project to help improve health service provision and alleviate this community identified stressor. With support from the USAID Community Engagement Project (CEP),  six health centers were rehabilitated and/or equipped as per DOH standards and served 1,100 patients over the life of the project. “The equipment provided to the health centers in Al Wasateyeh not only helped reduce tensions between the community and service providers, but also improved the quality of the services” said Ahmad Al Omari, a Wasateyeh CET member. “I no longer have to go to the Irbid City Hospital and wait for hours to get a dental X-ray. I can get everything done here now,” said Quitaba Shaher, a Wasateyeh resident as he entered the newly equipped dental practice.

To help promote the new health services and raise awareness about health issues common to the area, the CET helped mobilize 30 volunteers and coordinated with the DOH, community police, and local schools to conduct 27 health awareness raising sessions for over 900 community members. The CET also collaborated with a local volunteer organization to implement a Free Medical Day for needy community members which served over 1,000 people. As a demonstration of the commitment of the CET and community, the overall project value was increased by 56% through cost share. “I am grateful for the CET’s effort and their help in facilitating our relationship with USAID CEP. We are now better equipped to respond to the needs of the citizens,” said Dr. Ahmad Al Shaqran, Health Director.

By working together with the CET, DOH, local volunteer organizations, community police, and schools, USAID CEP facilitated the rehabilitation and/or equipping of 6 health centers which served 1,1000 patients over the life of the project. Through CET efforts, a free medical day provided health services to an additional 1,000 community members and 900 more participated in public health awareness raising sessions. CET and partner efforts increase project value by 56%.