Towards a Shared Future Vision in the Galilee
In 2015, we formed a steering committee and conducted a survey which included 2,250 household. Though we knew there has been a deterioration in health, we were still surprised by the grave results, by the scope, by the lack of information, by the low level of health literacy. I think it is related to poverty. Poor people can't deal with health and environment, not only in the Arab society. Haredi Jews as well, for example, deal less with their health rights and evaluation of services, because they are busy with daily survival.
The survey's results were shocking and horrifying, so we began developing programs in cooperation with local authorities in order to reach people. Most people think health is a personal problem, not a social problem; we want it to be a community issue. There are bad habits that need changing. Once you give the head of a local authority real data about the health situation in their locality—number of diabetes cases, cancer, etc. —they take action. We are working inside localities in cooperation with local authorities and the Ministry of Health, including cooperations with the Jewish community. Together with Shatil and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, we held three cycles for advancing health leadership in the north; the Arab–Jewish Citizens' Forum for the Promotion of Health in the Galilee grew out of one of these. This forum brings together over 250 professionals and citizens who care.
For the full interview in Hebrew or Arabic