|A patient with the Al-Ahli medical team.|
August 2015 – Prior to the recent outbreak of war between Hamas militants and the Israeli Defence Force, plans were in place to continue the Child Nutrition Project, supported by ABM funding. The Al-Ahli hospital paediatrician was scheduled to begin the screening process of vulnerable children in July, with those selected beginning their program of intensive nutritional and medical support from August. This vital service has now been postponed, as the hospital deals with the influx of victims from the relentless shelling and mortar attacks from the opposing forces.
Currently, and since the beginning of the crisis in early July, Al-Ahli staff have maintained around-the-clock presence at the hospital, receiving wounded people and providing them with the critical medical care that they need. Like other hospitals in Gaza, Al-Ahli is experiencing severe shortages in medicine, fuel for electrical generators, food for patients and food for parcels for many in the community seeking help. This has been compounded in recent days due to the destruction of Gaza’s only power-station, and the closing of the border with Egypt. The hospital itself has also sustained attack, with structural damage from airstrikes affecting the ventilation system in the operating theatre and emergency room. An exterior wall and the main steam pipe has been partially destroyed, leaving the hospital without hot water and with a reduced number of rooms to house patients.
The need for services such as the Child Nutrition project is now even more acute, and once hostilities have ceased the work will quickly resume. Its value to the local community is immeasurable, and as Al-Ahli Arab hospital was setup and is run by the Anglican/Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, it provides a tangible witness to the love of Christ in action.
From the program last year, several parents have expressed their appreciation and support, including Mrs Haneen Ahmad El Adham:
Mrs Haneen Ahmad El Adham is 25 years old, and lives in Jabalia city (Northern Gaza). Her husband is unemployed because he has renal failure and is in need of kidney dialysis. She is a mother of two and has only one room to live at with her in-laws and their families (nineteen persons in total).
She said, “My child came to this program because he was suffering from severe malnutrition and anemia. This program has helped to improve the health of my child, as he was unable to stand or walk. Now he can run. Please, please, please carry on with this humanitarian project, it is very important not only to my child but to all Gaza children.”
ABM thanks our generous donors for supporting this project. Please continue to give generously to support the work of Al-Ahli hospital, delivering life-saving services in difficult and often desperate circumstances. Your prayers are also vital, for the health and safety of staff and patients, and for a sustained peace in Gaza.