Providing funds to help children access the medical care they need

Makassed Charitable Hospital was established in 1968 in Jerusalem, through local community efforts to improve the health conditions of Palestinians from all over the West Bank and Gaza. Makassed Hospital ensures that Palestinian patients, especially those with low incomes – who constitute the majority of the population, are able to access high quality and affordable hospital care. The Hospital is the major referral hospital for children in Palestine.

A fund was established in 2007 by WA with support from a private donor in the UK, in memory of her daughter, Shirin, to assist Palestinian children with special needs who require medical or surgical procedures but whose families are not able to afford the costs of hospitalisation. The children receive treatment at Makassed Charitable Hospital and the funds are intended to cover otherwise unaffordable expenses of specialised hospital care. Support has been provided for children with nutritional problems, diabetes, cardiac, orthopaedic, and respiratory problems.

The early care and treatment of children born with disabilities or acquiring disabilities through injury in the first years of childhood is crucial in order to maximise healthy growth and the aim of the surgeries is to improve the quality of the child’s life and maximise their skills and capabilities.

We fund this project when sufficient funds are available – the latest round was completed in 2017.

In 2017, the Shirin Fund supported the treatment costs of eleven children, including four children with open heart surgeries, two children who underwent neurosurgery, one child’s orthopaedic surgery and four additional critical paediatric surgeries. 90% of the children’s parents were unable to find work and were struggling to support their families. Without this support, many of these children would struggle with a disability and/or chronic illness with potentially life-threatening health consequences.

Our WA colleagues and Makassed Hospital staff in Jerusalem kindly donate their time to manage this special project, so ALL funds received will go directly to support poor children in need of treatment.