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New equipment improves medical services to a West Bank town

February 2008

On Wednesday, February 6, a delegation from Neve Shalom - Wahat al-Salam traveled to the town of Naalin to mark the presentation of medical equipment to the clinic there, in the presence of the Government of Japan’s representative to the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Tetsushi Kondo.

Equipping of the clinic was funded by the Japanese government after a proposal was submitted by the Humanitarian Assistance Project (HAP) team of Neve Shalom - Wahat al-Salam. The HAP team also saw the project through to its completion (delivery of the equipment and instruction of the medical staff in its use).

The project addresses the fundamental need of small villages and towns in the West Bank for properly equipped clinics. This need has increased in recent years due to the difficulties caused by travel restrictions placed by Israel. Naalin, for example is only a half-hour away from Ramallah Hospital and other medical centres, but the journey takes much longer, due to army checkpoints and the fact that the main road, route 443, is off-limits to Palestinians (although it was purportedly constructed for them). The clinic in Naalin will serve not only the town but a number of nearby villages.

At the meeting, the clinic’s staff spoke of the warm and caring cooperative relationship that has developed between members of Neve Shalom - Wahat al-Salam’s HAP team (especially pharmacist Adnan Manaa - a frequent visitor in the town) and Naalin’s medical staff.

Photos below show the meeting in the municipal building, with Mr. Kondo and Miss Kayo Kasai from the embassy of Japan, representatives from the Palestinian Authority, Naalin’s Mayor Ayman Thabet, director of the Naalin medical centre Dr. Mohammad Ziadeh, NSWAS chair of the municipal board Mr. Eyas Shbeta, chair of the HAP team, Mr. Daoud Boulos, NSWAS Communications and Development director Ahmad Hijazi and others.

Following the meeting at the municipal building, the party toured the already active clinic. The impression received was that the project had succeeded in its intention to improve basic medical treatment for the local population.

The HAP team is planning similar projects in other areas where medical services do not exist, and will start mapping the West Bank for target populations. For this, HAP will approach embassies of different countries and institutions for support.

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