Impact of Non-fatal Injuries during War on Gaza on the Quality of Life, Rafah Governorate

Nedal Ismael Ghuneim
نضال اسماعيل محمد غنيم
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Al-Quds University
On 27 December 2008, the Israeli Army began the "Cast Lead" Operation against the Gaza Strip which resulted in more than 1400 martyrs and more than 5000 injures. This study aims to assess the consequences of non-fatal injuries during the last War on Gaza on the quality of life of the injured. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Rafah Governorate which had been directly affected by the war. All persons with non-fatal injuries were enrolled in this study. A total of 321 injured completed the self-constructed questionnaire based on Short Form SF-36 items questionnaire with 36 questions, which measure eight sub-scales aggregated together to construct two main summary measures, physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component summary measures. Demographic information, history of injuries and other relevant information were also collected. The response rate was 100%. Finding revealed that the majority of the injured were male (78.2%) in their productive age, who's were internally displaced (53.9 %), and mostly injured during the first week of the war (55.5%). Almost (77 %) were injured as a result of bombardment and wounded by fragments. The War on Gaza resulted in low QOL level for the population on all outcomes, compared with other normal populations. The highest scores were for Physical functioning (mean: 73.77) and the lowest for Emotional well being (mean: 60.14). The study concluded that older age groups, low educated and economically disadvantaged were associated with poorer QOL. Injuries caused by other than bombardment, fragments and injuries which are not severe in nature were associated with significantly higher QOL (By increasing the severity the QOL decreased). As the level of QOL for emotional well being was the lowest among all scores, so there is a need for an increase of mental health services and facilities to care for these people. There should be an increase of trained mental health care professionals and mental health education programs in psychosocial aspects and social support to assist in lowering the impact of injuries. The first aid for those should be carried out at PHC level, according to international standards and to the MOH plan. Further studies of Palestinians population and their QOL were suggested to identify the normal level of QOL in Palestine