The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Riad al Maliki, and the Sovereign Order of Malta Representative to Palestine Amb. Justin Simpson, signed a cooperation agreement on 29th June in Ramallah to further develop a long tradition of collaboration in the field of medicine and health. This agreement will further facilitate the Order of Malta’s humanitarian assistance on the territory of Palestine. It is aimed to promote the medical and care actions of the Order of Malta focusing on the improvement of public health, in particular in the fields of maternal and infant health, the treatment of people in hospitals and clinics and in facilitating the training of medical professionals.
The Holy Family Hospital, run by the Order of Malta in Bethlehem, will also benefit from this agreement. The hospital is the only place where women in the West Bank can give birth under good medical conditions. Besides providing medical care for pregnant women and those giving birth, the staff of the hospital – where over 60,000 babies have been born since 1990 – carry out regular visits in the Judaean Desert to offer healthcare for mothers and children living in the surrounding villages, often without electricity or running water.