The specialised bed will enable the medical personnel of the "Shepherd Hospital" in Beit Sahour (Bethlehem) to deliver difficult births and will improve the emergency medical care for pregnant women and newborn children from the Bethlehem area.
On 5 November 2013 First Lady Anna Komorowska officially inaugurated the transfer of the multifunction operating table during the completion of the project “Improvement of the health service quality for pregnant women and newborn children in the Bethlehem district through providing specialised equipment for the maternity hospital” carried out by the Representation of the Republic of Poland in Ramallah under the Small Grants System. The development project is in line with the Millenium Development Goals (MDG 4: To reduce child mortality rates; MDG 5: To improve maternal health) and received € 12.000 from the MFA development fund. "This special bed delivered to the maternity hospital will make it possible to conduct caesarean cuts and deliver difficult births” said the First Lady.
Growing financial barriers related to the high unemployment and poverty ratio as well as the worsening economic situation substantially limit the access to health services on the West Bank. Expensive health services and often the unwillingness to expend money can lead women to refrain from prenatal care if their health is not under risk. Last year the Shepherd Hospital, which operates on an area inhabited by 200.000 people with only 24 employees working full-time, has conducted over 370 general operations, 390 gynaecological procedures and delivered 755 children. The hospital is popular with patients as it provides high quality and low-cost medical care. The new equipment will contribute not only to higher standards of mother and child health care, but also increase the access to specialized gynecological and maternal care for women, which until now were sent to nearby facilities.
The Palestinian National Authority is one of the priority regions of the Polish development aid. In 2013, the MFA provided PLN 1.5 million to secure financing of 9 development projects implemented by Polish NGOs and the Representation on the Republic of Poland in Ramallah on the West Bank of Jordan. According to the 2014 Development Cooperation Plan, the amount of bilateral development aid to the Palestinian National Authority was increased by PLN 250.000 (17 per cent more than in 2013) and will amount to 1.7 mln.