Across the West Bank, small charitable clinics struggle to provide health care to an increasingly impoverished population.
One of these facilities is the Aknaf Beit Al-Maqdes Medical Center outside Bethlehem. Here, laboratory technician Mahmoud Salah volunteers as director to keep the clinic running with limited resources.
“We treat approximately 40-50 patients every day from five neighboring villages,” Dr. Salah explains while showing us around his small well-kept clinic.
“I am very grateful to Anera and AmeriCares for their support, which means a lot to us. Many of the medicines we use have been donated by you. But given our patient load, I am afraid we need even more. Many of our patients are poor and cannot afford to be treated by private doctors or to purchase medicine from commercial pharmacies. So they come to us.”
One such case is 13-year old Usama from the nearby village of Dar Salah. He had a rash on his right hand that itched a lot. When it spread, his mother Zakaia took him to Aknaf Beit Al-Maqdes Medical Center for treatment. Usama was treated with an ointment – Betamethasone – donated by AmeriCares and shipped to the clinic by Anera. He has been back to the clinic three times for routine follow-up visits and the rash is all but gone. Usama and his mother are greatly relieved.