Due to being the only hospital in the West Bank equipped to deliver babies before 32 weeks, Holy Family Hospital is often asked to accept the Bethlehem region’s most challenging medical cases. As a result, approximately 9% of all newborns delivered at the Hospital require neonatal intensive care.
The 18 beds in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are regularly filled by infants weighing as little as 1.5 pounds. Care for these babies is highly resource-intensive, often requiring lifesaving supports and transfers to partner hospitals for specialized surgical procedures.
Holy Family Hospital’s NICU saves over 300 lives each year.
Among the premature infants treated in our NICU, there is a subset of babies known as “micro-preemies” weighing, on average, less than two pounds at birth. While micro preemies represent only 24% of all babies treated in our NICU, care for these precious lives absorbs more than 40% of Holy Family Hospital’s total budget.
Inaugurated in 2016, the Foundation’s Neediest Baby Fund serves to cover the cost of prolonged treatment for these challenging cases.
The Hospital’s medical staff works to find suitable places for micro preemies in surgical centers (typically in Jerusalem) which can best meet their needs. In addition to organizing the transfers, Holy Family Hospital must guarantee all or part of the funding for the necessary procedure(s) – an expense that Palestinian families simply cannot afford.
Following their surgeries, infants return to Holy Family Hospital’s NICU where they continue to receive treatment until healthy enough to return home with their families.