OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The UNRWA said the incidence of psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the Gaza Strip has risen by more than 100 percent following the last Israel war.
It added that the number of Gazans it was treating from November to December for psychological traumas had doubled, 42 percent of them are under age nine.
These UNRWA statistics agrees with the findings of a recent survey on Gazan children conducted by the UNICEF, which found sharp rises in conflict-related psychological disturbances.
“These figures represent a significant rise in mental health problems,” Akihiro Seita, director of the UNRWA’s health program said. “From my experience, I would say this is evidence of a psychological trauma and PTSD epidemic.
“Remember that these statistics do not reflect our anecdotal evidence, which suggests there are a huge number of unreported cases,” Seita added.
“On my first visit to Gaza after the war, I was overwhelmed by how much mothers and children suffered from the sheer scale and magnitude of the bombardments. All the mothers I met in UNRWA’s health centers said their children behaved differently during and after the war. Some don’t sleep well, some do not eat well, and some do not speak well. It is heart-breaking,” she stressed.