“Restore hope, revive dreams”

The ribbon cutting ceremony, led by Bishop Munib A. Younan, holding a child who may be undergoing a bone marrow transplantation in the newly opened Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. Photo: LWF Jerusalem

New unit for bone marrow transplantation at Augusta-Victoria-Hospital

(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) in Jerusalem has inaugurated a new Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit.

“It is important to understand the science and medical expertise behind the program and it is important to appreciate the caring and compassionate environment that AVH seeks to create for its patients,” Rev. Mark Brown, LWF Representative, said. “The new Bone Marrow Transpantation unit has the potential to restore hope and revive dreams.”

LWF President Bishop Dr Munib Younan, who is the AVH board chairperson led the ribbon cutting ceremony, held in the refurbished lab. Wouroud, a girl currently in pediatric oncology care, was a special guest at the ceremony. “We have to remember why we are here. We are here for her. She and patients like her are the reason the hospital continues working, and why partners like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) support projects like the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit,” said David Harden, USAID Mission Director. Wouroud may be one of the first patients to benefit from the new unit.

The Bone Marrow Transplantation program is part of the development of AVH as a modern cancer center. It was made possible through a USAID contribution of USD 2.9 million by for equipment and intensive advanced training for staff members. The USAID support builds on previous investments, most notably the medical linear accelerator that was inaugurated in 2011 and provides life-saving radiation treatment to cancer patients from Gaza and the West Bank.

“This Grant towards our Bone Marrow Transplantation Program is a true model for capacity building: not only did it provide state of the art equipment, but it also built our capacity at the human skills level in a comprehensive and intensive manner,” said the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Walid Nammour.

Located on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem, Augusta Victoria Hospital serves thousands of Palestinian patients annually. It provides specialized medical services in the areas of oncology and nephrology that are unavailable in the West Bank and Gaza. In 2015, the hospital treated 11,293 patients, and provided more than 15,000 chemotherapy sessions. In June 2015 AVH graduated its first group of specialized oncology nurses.

In addition to the inpatient services, the hospital sends out two mobile units to increase healthcare access, and promote screening, early detection, and health education for Palestinians in the West Bank. The Mobile Diabetes Unit treated 3,000 patients in 2015, and the Mobile Mammography Unit screened 5,900 women.