Updates from Gaza and Nablus

May 7, 2020- Posted in Gaza, Healthcare, Palestine

Thank you from staff at St. Luke's Hospital in Nablus, West Bank
A thank you to American Friends from staff at St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus from their new COVID-19 isolation unit.
(From left) Dr. Bashar Haja, emergency unit physician; Saed Tufaha, emergency unit nurse; and Salwa Khoury, public relations director

Your donations provide critical emergency support to Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, St. Luke’s Hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus, and the Archbishop’s Fund to help impoverished families.

Thanks to your generosity the Diocese of Jerusalem is better able to respond to the health and financial needs of people in the West Bank and Gaza affected by COVID-19.

Updates from Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City:

On May 5, AAH Director Suhaila Tarazi shared news from Gaza.

  • While the number of COVID-19 cases in Gaza remains low, Tarazi said, “The head of the World Health Organization declared that the coronavirus curve has not yet started in Gaza and that it is a matter of time.”
  • 15,000 people wait at the Egypt border crossing in hopes of returning home to Gaza. She said, “They hope to return as soon as the border opens which is a catastrophe itself if it happens.” 
  • The Ministry of Health has closed many outpatient clinics at other hospitals in Gaza to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak. That has put additional pressure on AAH’s free community clinic to care for poor Gazans in need of routine healthcare.
  • While AAH has been fully engaged in emergency preparedness since February, Tarazi explained, “There remain huge shortages in PPE and laboratory reagents to check the virus in the suspected cases. Health authorities continue to appeal for support to procure additional lab testing kits. In Gaza a total of 4,804 people (in a population of 2.1 million) have been tested.”

She concluded, “I thank God that our leaders, Dr. Maher, and Samira, all the staff members, and I are healthy.

“Thank you very much for all your sincere efforts to support Ahli. Without such help, I do not think Ahli will be able to continue this humanitarian mission in Gaza.”