Healthcare for the Marginalized
An array of socioeconomic and political factors in the West Bank have exacerbated public health issues in recent years. These public health issues disproportionately impact women and children, who often require specialized care. Infant mortality in the region is currently five times that of developed countries and the added strains of occupation have triggered a surge in preterm births. Healthcare for postmenopausal women remains an untenable expense for most families.
In direct response to these public health issues, Holy Family Hospital launched its Mobile Outreach Clinic in 1995. The Clinic’s objective is to bring essential obstetric, gynecological, and pediatric care to women and children who otherwise lack access to medical care.
The Mobile Outreach Clinic offers a range of OB/GYN services, including pre- and postnatal exams, lab tests, and gynecological/cancer screenings. All services are conducted within a state-of-the-art mobile van outfitted with essential medical equipment.
The Mobile Clinic runs five full days a week, treating women and children from United Nations Refugee camps and remote villages in the surrounding desert. An approximate 25% of patients served by the Clinic are refugees.
A pediatrician staffs the Clinic daily to treat young children and newborns. Those who suffer from severe illness or developmental disabilities are referred to specialty hospitals for specialized care. Just recently, another specialist joined the Clinic team to address the unique healthcare needs of women past the childbearing age – a severely underserved population in Palestine.
Holy Family Hospital’s Mobile Clinic treats nearly 800 women and 1,200 children each year. With an array of services otherwise inaccessible to families, the Clinic brings new hope to families throughout the Bethlehem region.
“Health Services and developmental follow-up are fundamental human rights. A child who benefits from appropriate and comprehensive healthcare will be able to grow up to be a healthy adult.”
-Dr. Rojet Kidess,
Mobile Clinic Pediatrician