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Urgent appeal launched after collapse of al-Ahli Arab Hospital Outpatient’s Department in Gaza

Posted on: December 17, 2018 11:00 AM
Photo Credit: Both photos: Diocese of Jerusalem

The Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani, has launched an urgent appeal for funds after the outpatients department of the diocese’s al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza collapsed. The hospital’s director, Mrs Suhaila Tarazi, reports that nobody was injured when the 120-year-old building collapsed because of environmental stress. The steel beams, roof decking, plaster ceiling, and surrounding walls caved into the room, before further collapsing into the basement below.

“If the facility had been occupied during that time, there might have been fatalities”, the Diocese of Jerusalem said. “Only by the grace of God was no one injured during this serious incident. Due to the sudden and catastrophic nature of this failure, Ahli Hospital patients, staff, and doctors had to be rushed out of the area and temporarily relocated to a safer and more secure place within the hospital’s vicinity.

“Other Outpatient Clinic visitors were redirected to the Physiotherapy Department. Patients have continued to receive treatment from healthcare professionals, though at a slower pace under these crowded and temporary conditions.”

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The hospital’s consultant engineer and a construction team have assessed the damage and made recommendations for reconstruction. “Their findings provided useful insights about the deficiencies of the bar joists in the clinic that were manufactured between 1900 and the late 1950s, and still being used well after 1960”, the diocese said. “These were the chief culprits behind the catastrophic failure of the building – but so were the infrequent renovations, the latest occurring in 1993.

Archbishop Suheil has made an urgent appeal to supporters to contribute towards the estimated $150,000 USD (approximately £119,000 GBP) cost of reconstruction “which will allow the hospital to continue its charitable ministry with the many needy patients whom its doctors and staff serve each day”, the diocese said.

People wishing to respond to the appeal can do so directly to the Diocese of Jerusalem or through a number of partners around the world:

Australia   The Anglican Board of Mission
Canada   The Canadian Companions of Jerusalem
New Zealand   The Anglican Missions Board
United Kingdom   The Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association
United States of America      The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem