Getting Sick in Palestine : It happens, maybe it was spending twelve hours in a plane with sneezing strangers, maybe you’re just too tired. Either way you’re bent over the toilet vomiting, running a fever, and coughing a lung out. You’re sick and you’re in a foreign city. How do you deal with an illness in Palestine?
The first tip is to prepare before you leave home. If you take any regular medications, for allergies or chronic illnesses of any sort, it would probably be a good idea to bring enough for the duration of your time abroad. Stocking up on some familiar medicines for stomach issues or colds may also be a good idea since you’re already familiar with how to use them. Stomach issues and traveler’s diarrhea is almost a rite of passage with any prolonged trip overseas. To prepare for the possibility of more serious infections to the digestive tract consider visiting your doctor and asking for an antibiotic for emergencies. Also use the opportunity to make sure you are up-to-date with your vaccinations.
Should you feel sick even with these precautions don’t fret. Your first stop, as it would be at home, would be to the pharmacy. Pharmacies are on every street corner in Hebron, Palestine and the pharmacists are happy to help you. The pharmacy next to the men’s dorm is staffed by a very friendly pharmacist who is fluent in English. Connor from the USA, 24, recalls: “I caught a cold in Cairo before I came to Hebron, Palestine. By the time I arrived I felt like dying. Another volunteer walked me to the pharmacy and the pharmacist greeted me in English. He asked me my symptoms and understood my explanation perfectly. The pills he gave me were much cheaper than those in the United States and they worked better. Within a few days I felt brand new!”
Should your illness persist you’ll find that like any other city Hebron, Palestine has numerous doctors and other medical professionals. All volunteers are required to come with health insurance so payment is not a concern. The staff at the Excellence Center or your host family can refer you to the right doctor for you. In addition, Hebron, Palestine is home to one of the biggest Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank, Ahli Hospital.
If you’re out of town for the weekend and come down with a sudden illness not to worry. Israel has a universal healthcare system and facilities that rival the best on Earth. Staff members are always a phone call away to be reached in such emergencies. In the case of emergencies within Hebron the city is equipped with emergency services such as ambulances, firefighters, and police officers who will rush to your aid.
If you choose a more natural route to cure your ailment the agricultural economy of Palestine produces numerous plants that can help with your sickness. Tea is a staple in Palestine, along with the rest of the Middle East, sprinkle some honey into your cup and your throat will be soothed and the minerals in the honey will strengthen your immune system. Spices are available in shops throughout the old city which Palestinians have used as home-remedies for centuries. Finally, oranges and other citrus fruits packed with Vitamin C are inexpensive and widely available in the markets.
Illness happens all around the world and there is a good chance at some on your trip you may feel down. Luckily Hebron, Palestine is equipped with numerous options to better your health and leave you feeling better than when you arrived.