About Al Ahli Arab (Anglican) Hospital
In the late 1800s, the Church Missionary Society (CMS) established medical work in Gaza and, in 1907, they built the first hospital in Gaza City. This hospital was destroyed during the First World War, and was rebuilt by CMS, as Al Ahli Arab Hospital.
Because of its location in the centre of the City, the Hospital is able to receive casualties from a number of heavily populated neighbourhoods. It works closely with the Palestinian National Authority Ministry of Health, so when there is a demand for patient care, Ahli Arab Hospital is the first to receive the overflow from the government hospital in the central area of Gaza.
During the years of the first Intifada, the Hospital was often swamped with wounded victims of the violence. Sometimes there were so many casualties that staff were forced to treat patients on the floor. During the last couple of years, as a result of the second Intifada, the Hospital has again been in great demand.
Through its ministry, the Hospital tries to give hope to the hopeless, compassion and comfort to those who mourn and dignity to the oppressed. Condemning violence on all sides, the Hospital staff search for ways to promote peace, reconciliation and justice for those of all religions and nationalities in its community.
The population of the Gaza Strip is 1.2 million, and about 3,000 of these people are Christians. Yet, Ahli Hospital is known and respected as a provider of the highest quality health care for all women, children and men of Gaza, regardless of their religion, nationality or background. A significant portion of the care is charitable, as the staff minister to many of the poorest people, in a community where over 60% of the residents live in refugee camps.
Hospital services: The Hospital provides all the usual departments one would expect to find in a hospital, for both in- and out-patients.
- Out-patient services include general medicine clinics, surgery, paediatric, obstetric/gynaecology and urology clinics. The Hospital also has emergency and ambulance services 24 hours a day. Over 18,000 out-patients are treated a year.
- Around 6,000 in-patients are treated each year in the general medicine clinics, surgery, maternity ward and Intensive Care Unit.
- Great emphasis has been placed on the preventative medicine at the Hospital. The Hospital runs a health education programme for the community, to raise public awareness of disease and enhancing life style. The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and several NGOs have publicly praised the Hospital for its efforts and participation in these campaigns to prevent the spread of disease.
- The Hospital’s rehabilitation department provides the best rehabilitation services in the Gaza Strip. Patients include victims from both the first and the second Intifadas. There are only three physiotherapists at the Hospital, but they treat more than 10,000 people a year.
- The Hospital provides in-service training for its own staff, and has had a medical library since 1993 – the first established medical library in Gaza. It also has its own laboratory and a radiology department.
Mobile clinics: The Hospital organises monthly medical outreach clinics to the poorest villages in the Gaza Strip, where inhabitants are unable to travel outside the village due to Israeli military restrictions. A team of volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others tend and treat the patients, giving them desperately needed medical treatment for the first time in months. More than 500 people are treated at each clinic. As well as giving high-quality, often free medical care, the clinics provide children with sandwiches, and they provide families with rice and other dry goods.
Because of the ongoing conflicts in the Gaza Strip, Al Ahli Arab Hospital has suffered with its community throughout the years. In early 2003, the Hospital was damaged when a guided missile landed in the compound’s church. However, the work of healing in the name of Christ continues to the present day as the staff at the Hospital demonstrate love in action. Just as Christ ministered to the poor and needy so does Ahli Arab Hospital.