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Al-Rahma International Charity, KRCS helping people rebuild lives Kuwaiti Hospital aims to ease suffering of Gazans

THE most recent Palestinian-Israeli conflict has incurred thousands of fatalities in Gaza, particularly in the poorest region of Rafah, where the Kuwaiti Hospital, originally intended as a maternity hospital, has aided in relieving the overwhelming demand for medical care during the latest crisis.

The 1,200 m2 Hospital was built in 2007 from donations given by the Kuwaiti people, collected through the Al-Rahma International Charity. Along with the maternity ward, the hospital also has an endoscopic surgery, general surgery, dentistry ward, and emergency clinic, which annually sees over 40,000 people.

Dr Waleed Al Anjari, the head of projects in Palestine for the Al-Rahma International Charity, built the hospital to help the blockaded civilians: “Without a doubt the goal behind building this hospital is a humanitarian one where we aim to mitigate the suffering of the people of Gaza in the time of war, and especially the people of Rafah, which is the poorest area in Gaza.”

Dr Anjari had intended the hospital to help better the health conditions for the 2.5 million people living in Rafah. The hospital which is run by local and volunteer doctors and specialists, provided special medical services and the best equipment available in the region. Complex surgeries that were previously unavailable through public hospitals became accessible, improving the quality of life for the Gazans. The costs the average citizen would collect from seeking medical assistance in a private hospital would prevent many from receiving the care they require. The Kuwaiti hospital made it possible for the poorer population to be able to afford basic medical treatment.

Recent events have shaken the foundations of the Gaza Strip, leaving medical staff stretched thinly between destroyed hospitals and a severe lack of equipment and medical supplies.

When strikes targeted the main public hospital in Rafah, the Kuwaiti Hospital was the only remaining functional hospital. As both the death toll and the rate of injuries rose steadily each day, the pressure mounted to accommodate the influx of patients. Even with the hospital’s limited capacity, sparse intensive care units, and emergency room resources, the hospital admitted approximately 660 people since the start of the conflict. Hundreds of minor and major operations were performed, as the hospital, pushed to its limits tried to save as many lives as possible.

Although the hospital has tried to help minimize the number of fatalities, the rising number of injuries and lack of aid allowed into the country is making it impossible to cope. The charity is continuing its efforts, and pushing for more donations from Kuwaiti residents through collections at events around the country. There are several branches located across Kuwait where people can donate, as well as through payments online on the official Arl-Rahma website.

With a lull in the fighting, the charity is using the opportunity to restock as many supplies as possible. Dr Al Anjari hoped the recent donations would be allowed into the country to help the hospital staff.

“The inventory of medications and other medical supplies was fully depleted and resulted in further support by the Al-Rahma Foundation, but the need for supplies is far greater than what we are able to offer alone,” said Dr Al Anjari.

The recently established Kuwaiti based Al-Rahma International Charity, renowned for their international relief efforts, is also helping people rebuild their lives.

“The assistance that the Al-Rahma Foundation provides in Gaza is not only a medical one, as important as that factor is. On top of the effort that is put into running the hospital, the Al-Rahma Foundation helps families in need, whose houses had been destroyed by the constant bombardments. For such families, the foundation provides a sum of $1,000 as financial support to help them get back on their feet. Furthermore, the foundation distributes nutritional baskets to hundreds of families that have been displaced from their homes in the Shuja’ia area,” said Dr Al Anjari.

 Al-Rahma has also handed out hot meals everyday to thousands of men, women, and children who have taken refuge in the UN protected schools. They also financially reward the men in the civil defense, who risk their lives for the sake of saving others.

With all the efforts in Gaza, Dr Al Anjari is still determined to improve the standard of living for the local community. The Al-Rahma Foundation Charity intends to develop and improve the hospital to provide more services and better deal with times of war.

“Maybe the recent events, which helped shed some light onto the Kuwaiti Hospital, can motivate enough generous donors to help us develop the hospital,” said Dr Al Anjari.

The Al-Rahma International Charity is one of a number of organizations in Kuwait that are sending humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Kuwait Red Crescent is also working alongside its Palestinian counterpart in coordinating ways to transport supplies into the Strip. 20 tonnes of medications from the Kuwait Red Crescent was allowed through the Egyptian side of the Gaza blockade on Sunday, (Aug 16).

The Red Crescent has donated over 40 thousand food parcels delivered to families, 40 thousand water bottles, and a total of over 263 thousand litres of fuel for hospitals and ambulances throughout the Strip. The Red Crescent has helped resupply the Kuwaiti Hospital on three separate occasions by air freight. Volunteers for both organizations are helping in the unloading and distribution of all goods. 

By Dina Naser - Arab Times Staff

By: Dr Waleed Al Anjari

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