2016 closes with a positive result for the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, run by the Order of Malta in Palestine since 1990.
During the year over 3500 babies were born in this ancient stone convent, built by the Sisters of Charity at the end of the 19th century. The hospital has a staff of 140 doctors, nurses and support personnel and is the only health facility in the region with an neonatal intensive care unit which dealt with 400 premature babies this year.
“I felt safe during my latest delivery,” says the mother of Anna, born a few days ago in the hospital. “The doctors and nurses took good care of me and made me feel protected. No other hospital in Bethlehem treats its patients in this way,” Anna’s mother continues. She also gave birth to her first child in this hospital two years ago.
For 26 years the Holy Family Hospital has been providing a very high quality medical service to pregnant women, offering healthcare during all the stages before and after birth and neonatal assistance. To date, almost 73 thousand babies have been born in this hospital, located less than a kilometre from the Church of the Nativity.
The hospital also has a mobile clinic – with a gynaecologist, obstetrician and paediatrician – that regularly visits villages in the West Bank desert to provide medical services for the women in the region.
Besides having a diabetes outpatients clinic specialised in treating gestational diabetes the hospital works in close contact with the local institutions in assisting patients from disadvantaged social environments. Over the years, thanks to funds received from the European Union, the US Congress and the Belgian government, the hospital has been able to build new delivery rooms and extend its operating theatres.
The hospital has recently signed a cooperation agreement for medical training with the Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome.