Hebron’s new Burns Unit officially opens

Last week a team from Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) were delighted to participate in the official opening of the new MAP-supported burns treatment unit at Alia Hospital in Hebron.

The new Burns Unit is the first of its kind in the southern West Bank, providing specialist burns care to a population of 900,000 people in Hebron and the surrounding areas.

Timely, locally-available, and high-quality treatment is vital to both saving lives and improving outcomes for burns victims.  Until now, patients affected by burns injuries could only access specialist treatment at the other MAP-supported unit in Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, in the northern West Bank. With the imposition of a network of checkpoints and roadblocks, it could take burns patients many hours to reach the unit, especially those in Hebron.

Thanks to our supporters, burns treatment is now closer

Over the past two years, in partnership with the Welfare Association, MAP has supported the refurbishment of a section of Alia Hospital to house the new burns unit.  MAP has provided equipment for the unit, including machines for skin grafts and feeding patients, while another partner, Interburns, has helped us to train staff who are now working in the unit. 

The official opening of the Burns Unit took place last Saturday, 26 August, and was attended by hospital staff, MAP, Welfare Association, representatives of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank, including the Minister of Health, Dr Jawad Awwad, and Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Rami Hamdallah.

In her speech at the ceremony, MAP’s Director of Programmes in the West Bank, Mira Mukarker, said:

I am delighted to celebrate the opening of the Burns Unit at Alia Hospital … Burns injuries – from industrial accidents, house fires, and even arson attacks by Israeli settlers – are a prevalent risk to health for Palestinians in the West Bank, and can have serious, life-long effects. It is thus out of our shared understanding that we at MAP, the Ministry of Health, the Welfare Association and Interburns have decided to cooperate through establishing, training, and equipping the burn treatment unit at Alia Hospital in Hebron, in the Southern West Bank.”

Treating burns patients

The Burns Unit began some services last month, and has so far treated nine patients, eight of whom were children.

Children constitute most of the burn patients received at Palestinian hospitals. Working in partnership with the Welfare Association, MAP has helped to set up a brand new, fully equipped play room, for children staying at the unit.

The unit expects to see a large increase in patients admitted during the winter as electric heaters increase the risk of house fires and burns.

We would like to thank all of our supporters who have helped make the opening of this important service possible. If you would like to help us ensure Palestinians can access quality burns care in the West Bank this winter, please donate today.

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