By Caritas Jerusalem
Caritas Jerusalem has donated an intensive care unit ambulance to Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.
On December 20th 2009 His Beatitude Msg. Fuad Twal, President of Caritas Jerusalem, presented the ambulance as part of a response to the needs of the health sector in Gaza.
Mrs. Suhaila Tarazi, general manager of Al Ahli Arab hospital, thanked His Beatitude and Caritas Jerusalem for their role in responding to the urgent needs of Gazans. In addition she thanked Caritas for their support in providing local hospitals with medical equipment, medicines, sheets, shutters and other needs.<!–more–>
Present at this event were representatives from local hospitals, Ministry of Health, World Health Organization (WHO) and Islamic Waqf .
The ambulance is equipped with 32 items that are needed for emergency transport of patients.
“This is not a regular ambulance; this can save lives because it contains an ICU unit for patients in a critical condition. The ambulance was made according to world standards and approved by the Ministry of Health,” said Jameel Khoury, Caritas Jerusalem project manager.
The ambulance was supposed to be presented in the middle of September but customs delays meant it was three months late.
Fifteen hospitals out of a total of 27, and 41 primary health care clinics out of 118 in Gaza were damaged during the war at the beginning of 2009, according to the World Health Organization. A Caritas clinic in Gaza was completely destroyed by a fighter jet.
As for the ambulances about half of them were damaged or destroyed. The offensive left 16 doctors dead. Nearly all of them were killed while trying to save lives and many more were wounded. Despite their brave efforts, over 1,300 people were killed in Gaza as a result of last year’s conflict.