UPDATE 4: Friday 17 November
Augusta Victoria Hospital – East Jerusalem
Your ALWS support works through the Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) in East Jerusalem to help Palestinians needing cancer and kidney treatments.
Since 7 November …
505 cancer patients from Gaza – including 5 children – were not able to attend AVH for appointments:
- Radiation therapy
- CT scans
- Lab tests
AVH is ‘trying as best as we can to hold contact to AVH patients from Gaza and also from the West Bank who are unable to reach us’.
PHOTO: This 11-year-old patient has come to the Augusta Victoria Hospital you support three times per week for Dialysis, a treatment she has been receiving for the past four years. The procedure takes four hours each time. This life-saving treatment is at risk when patients from Gaza cannot reach the hospital. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert
AVH has introduced a Tele-Clinic with a WhatsApp number.
Patients can call this number and the patient’s supervisor will connect with the relevant doctor. However, the Tele-Clinic needs good internet connection on the side of the patients, which unfortunately is not often the case in Gaza.
Mammography Mobile Clinic (MMC)
MMC able to resume services after the halt during the first two weeks into the war, mainly in and around Ramallah and surrounding villages, as well as in Bir Zeit. MMC also managed to enter Jericho, though it took longer than usual to cross the checkpoint.
The diabetes mobile clinic is under renovation and will resume its activities shortly.
Situation in Jerusalem
Remains relatively quiet, but very tense. Soldiers and Police are deployed all over the city and especially young Palestinians are potentially stopped and searched and their smart phones checked. This has a chilling effect on the Palestinian population to express their opinion or to use public transport or to go out. Most Palestinians are staying at home.
AVH Gaza project – Arab Ahli Hospital
AVH supports cancer diagnosis and treatment services inside Gaza at the Arab Ahli Hospital (AAH). It is the only hospital operating in the region. More than 15 paramedics and ambulance drivers relocated to serve at AAH.
Over the weekend, AVH was able to contact AAH. Reported approximately 150 dead bodies and 350 injured people.
- serious infections.
The hospital departments are open, and patients are treated everywhere even at the hospital courtyard and on the floors.
There is a severe lack of medical supplies and a shortage in medical staff to meet the needs. The electricity capacity is also critical and running on limited capacity.
AVH is looking at ways to further support AAH.
AVH reports that an LWF/AVH co-opted staff member (West Bank ID holder) was stuck in Gaza since October 7th. Previous evacuation efforts failed. He was finally able to leave Gaza and reach Cairo. AVH reports it took a lot of effort to achieve the evacuation, many people were involved, and AVH is grateful to all who helped in the process.
UPDATE 3: 8 November 2023
Good news! ALWS supporters have been generous in their support for ALWS action in response to the Israel Gaza Crisis.
This means ALWS can DOUBLE our in-faith commitment to $100,000.
The initial ALWS action is delivered through the ACT Alliance, with ALWS partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF) at Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem. The focus is providing life-saving cancer treatment and kidney dialysis services to Palestinian patients.
ALWS extended action through ACT Alliance now also includes:
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
This aid focuses on 700 families in West Bank and Jerusalem, affected by the Gaza Crisis. Aid is delivered as Cash Grants, so families can buy the items they decide they need the most.
Churches are located in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala.
Middle Eastern Council of Churches
The Council’s Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) has long experience working in Gaza – establishing health services, providing medicines and supplements for sick children and mothers, cash relief, food distributions. There are 80 full-time and 20 part-time employees in Gaza.
Emergency work now targets care to:
Key aid activities include:
- Food security
- Job creation
- Psychosocial support
- Cash grants
Lutheran World Federation
ALWS partner, LWF, continues to provide cancer treatments and kidney dialysis services to Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank, through the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem.
LWF will also work with DSPR to rehabilitate the Gaza Diagnostic Centre at Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, damaged in bombing.
The ACT Alliance is churches of many denominations from around the world, working together to respond to emergencies. As we do so in response to the Israel Gaza crisis, ACT Alliance highlights needs as:
- 100 trucks of aid per day
- continuous pipeline for aid
- continuous pipeline for fuel
- semblance of order in Gaza to conduct humanitarian aid
Australian Advocacy Action
ALWS is a signatory to a letter to the Australian Government from ACFID – the Australian Council for International Development, made up of 30 Australian international aid agencies.
The letter is addressed to:
- Prime Minister, The Hon. Anthony Albanese
- Senator Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs
- The Hon. Pat Conroy MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific
- The Hon. Richard Marles MP, Minister for Defence
The letter calls on the Australian Government to ‘exert all possible influence’ towards five life-saving outcomes:
- Protection of civilians
- Negotiation for the safe release of hostages
- Humanitarian access, including a humanitarian pause
- A ceasefire to end rapidly escalating conflict
- Renewed efforts toward a long-term diplomatic solution
NB: ACFID has unequivocally condemned the killing and kidnapping of civilians by armed Palestinian groups. The assaults that led to the deaths of thousands of Israelis and the taking of numerous hostages are abhorrent acts.
See full letter here.
ALWS is also working with the Emergency Action Alliance (EAA) to seek media and Government support for the aid efforts of agencies like ALWS in response to the Israel Gaza Crisis.
UPDATE 2: 20 October 2023
ALWS has committed $50,000 to the work of the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem.
The hospital is owned and operated by ALWS partner, Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and serves 5 million Palestinians. The hospital specialises in care for cancer patients and providing haemodialysis for kidney patients.
Children also receive critical care.
Dr Fadi Atrash, heads the hospital, and was interviewed by Cornelia Kastner-Meyer from LWF about the impact of the Israel Gaza Crisis.
Dr Fadi, can you give us an update on the situation at the hospital?
We are in an emergency, and we do not know how things will
develop. I have set up an emergency team to coordinate our work. We have enough staff on board 24 hours a day to guarantee the operation of the hospital.
Our mission is humanitarian – we are on the side of our patients and those affected by war and conflict.
Most of your cancer patients come from the West Bank and Gaza. How is the crisis affecting them?
40% of our patients come from Gaza. We have a total of 71 people from Gaza in the hospital right now. They cannot return home, so we are finding accommodation for them here.
Since the war started last Saturday, 44 patients from Gaza were scheduled for chemotherapy and 28 for radiation. They cannot go home. We have another 60 patients scheduled for chemotherapy and 20 for radiation this week, but now they cannot come.
If the treatment for cancer is interrupted, it will of course affect the prognosis negatively.
What about kidney patients?
We keep the patients for haemodialysis in the hospital, because they need a session every other day. If they miss it, they will die. It’s a life-saving treatment.
We are keeping almost all of the children from the West Bank who receive haemodialysis here in the hospital, to guarantee the continuity of their treatment, and the safety of them and their families.
How are patients from Gaza dealing with the news they receive?
It is very, very sad and very difficult for them. On top of their very painful journey of cancer treatment, they are losing family members and their homes. They watch the news all day, trying to get in contact with their families. They see all the destruction, and they are far from their loved ones. They are suffering. Our nurses and psychosocial teams are trying to be with them all the time. It’s not easy to support them in this situation.
In previous years, the hospital has sent medical teams to Gaza to care for the wounded after air strikes. Is that possible now?
No, it is not possible. This time is different. Yesterday morning I called a friend who is in a UN shelter in Gaza. He told me: “There is no electricity, no water, and no humanitarian access, not even for blood transfusions. The hospitals are overwhelmed with injured and casualties. Lightly injured people die because there is no medicine, no blood products, or they cannot get to the hospital in time.”
People are very afraid in Gaza. Their voices are not heard. They are worried about tomorrow and what will happen to them.
What is your message to the world?
Everyone here is against killing of all civilians.
There is no doubt about this, whatever your origin, your race, your religion, as a human being. The human response should be equal on both sides.
Most important now is a ceasefire, and to open a humanitarian corridor for injured and sick people to be treated, and for fuel, water and food to enter.
Guarantee the safety of children, women and innocent people, in Israel and Palestine, and allow for humanitarian and medical aid to reach those who need it.
UPDATE 1: 16 October 2023
The loss of life, and deep suffering of people hurt by the crisis in Israel and Gaza, is heart-breaking.
ALWS has committed $50,000 from our Emergency Fund to the response of churches worldwide through ACT Alliance.
Your ALWS action is through Lutheran World Federation (LWF) which owns and operates Augusta Victoria Hospital (photo) in East Jerusalem. This is a practical action of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land.
The Augusta Victoria Hospital is located on the Mount of Olives close to the West Bank, near the Garden of Gethsemane, and 20kms north of Bethlehem. The hospital provides high quality medical services for 5 million Palestinians, with 40% of patients from Gaza – mostly for cancer treatment. 15% are children under 18.
Your ALWS action plans to support the hospital with:
- Medical supplies
- Meals and Dignity Kits for patients
- Essential transport
From Augusta Victoria Hospital website …
The Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) is a medical centre of excellence, providing health care services and other health programs since 1950. It is operated by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
The hospital was established in partnership with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees as a major medical facility to care for Palestinian refugees following the 1948 conflict.
Located at the top of the Mount of Olives, East Jerusalem, AVH is one of six specialized hospitals in the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, which has contributed to the development of the Palestinian health care system and the education of healthcare workers and specialists. Its specialized services include comprehensive cancer and diabetes care, kidney care and dialysis, skilled nursing and long-term care.
Licensed for 171 beds, AVH is the second largest hospital in East Jerusalem. The hospital has centres of excellence including Comprehensive Cancer Care (Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Palliative Care, and oncosurgery for adults and children), Kidney Care Dialysis, Skilled Nursing and Long-term Care. In order to complete the continuum of care, the hospital also reaches the local community through outreach programs, including the Mammography and Diabetes mobile clinics.
AVH embarked on the mission to serve the Palestinian community over the years with more than 500 professional medical staff, who work with passion and love to provide medical services with the highest international health standards.
ACFID Media Releases on Israel Gaza Crisis
ALWS is a member of ACFID, Australian Council for International Development, the peak industry association of Australian non-government organisations working in the field of international aid and development.
ACFID has released the following statements in regard to the Israel Gaza Crisis:
How your donation is used wisely
[✓] You help with practical care
Your donation will be used to help meet the ALWS commitment of $50,000 to the emergency response in Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem. Should ALWS receive income beyond what is needed for this $50,000 response, any extra will be used to support ongoing ALWS emergency action. Information in this communication is based on data correct at time of writing, and may change. Funds and other resources designated for the purpose of aid and development will be used only for those purposes and will not be used to promote a particular religious adherence or to support a political party, or to promote a candidate or organisation affiliated to a particular party, or to support welfare activities as defined by DFAT. For more information, call: 1300 763 407
[✓] Being careful with your care
In 2022, ALWS ‘overheads’ (fundraising and administration costs as defined by ACFID Code of Conduct) were 15.4%. The 5 year average is also 15.4%. A copy of the most current ALWS Annual Report can be viewed at alws.org.au or requested: 1300 763 407.
[✓] Your privacy is important to us
Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is The Overseas Aid & Development Agency of the Lutheran Church of Australia – ABN 36 660 551 871