Medical care Bethlehem

Bethlehem: little May recovers her sight

Giacomo Pizzi29 April 2019

May is a smiling 15-year-old girl who lives with her family in Bethlehem. Since she was a child she has always suffered from a severe form of squint. “We noticed vision problems when she was just three years old,” her mother Nour tells us. “From that moment on, she always had to wear glasses. Then at the age of 13 the glasses were no longer sufficient, the doctors told us that she had to undergo surgery otherwise she would have lost her sight permanently ”. No hospital in the Palestinian territories was sufficiently equipped for intervention; they had therefore turned to a doctor in Jerusalem, but he too had guaranteed only 50% of  success of the intervention. Looking for a second strike, the parents found a Jordanian specialist willing to operate it, but the costs of the operation were too high. Mom Nour does odd jobs and her father Jad works a day as a painter: their salaries were not enough to cover the cost of the intervention and stay in Amman.

For this reason, they have turned, like so many other famgilie over the years, to the listening and reception desk made available by the Association pro Terra Sancta in Bethlehem. Here the desk manager, Naila Nasser, listens to the problems and the economic and social conditions of hundreds of needy families in the town. Once the analysis and control phase has been completed, Naila takes care of finding the necessary funds to cover the expenses, activating a network of supportive solidarity made up of various associations including the Association pro Terra Sancta, which manages to help many patients who, like May, need important and very expensive interventions.

The Palestinian health situation lives in a permanent emergency state and the difficult political and economic situation does not allow an improvement in the living conditions of the population. The public system is unable to meet the demands of patients who are forced to turn to the private sector at much higher costs, often unattainable for many families.

Every week, there are new cases and new needs: workplace accidents, medication costs and diabetes or other chronic diseases that are not provided by the health system. “Like that father of a family – says Naila – who came to the office a few days ago to ask for help for his daughter who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a very young age, a disease that can be kept under control only thanks to drugs that cost 3000 nis, more than a monthly salary “. And he adds, “we are working to help this young girl too, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to respond to the ever-increasing number of requests, because instead of improving the economic, social and consequently the health situation, they get worse”.

For this reason, the case like May’s is certainly a great gift for his family; May has to travel to Jordan every six months for checks, but the operation was a success and she almost regained her sight. He smiles with tears in his eyes as he joyfully shows us his excellent scholastic achievements at the Terra Sancta School in Beit Jala: “Now – he exclaims – I can take notes and look at the blackboard without getting tired!” We at Associazione Pro Terra Sancta want to give a smile like May’s to more and more people. This is why we work tirelessly, thanks to your support.