West Bank and Gaza: US Congressional delegation visits Abu Raya Rehabilitation Center
In Ramallah. Dr. Munzer Sharif, Palestinian Deputy Minister of Health, and William Hammink, USAID's Acting Mission Director, accompanied the three Congressmen during their tour of the facility. The visiting delegation had the opportunity to speak with staff at the Center to learn first hand of the difficulties and constraints faced by Palestinian health institutions during this difficult period.
The K. Abu Raya Rehabilitation Center, a non-profit, non-governmental organization under the auspices of the Patients Friends Society of Ramallah, has received a grant of approximately $260,000 from the United States Agency for International Development's Mission to the West Bank & Gaza (USAID/WBG) through CARE International, a U.S.-based organization. The grant will support the Center's comprehensive rehabilitation and outreach program, providing wheelchairs and other equipment, medications for spinal cord injury sufferers, and rehabilitation services for the disabled, including patients who have suffered fractures and other traumatic injuries during the Intifada. Approximately 70% of K. Abu Raya's patients live in rural-based communities and refugee camps.
USAID has supported K. Abu Raya since September 2000 through operational support costs, the procurement of physical therapy equipment and supplies, and essential pharmaceuticals. This support has assisted the highly qualified staff of the K. Abu Raya Rehabilitation Center to maintain and expand their outreach program, home visit program, and community-based programs for disabled Palestinian citizens to improve their living standards and readjust back into their communities. This important work has continued despite the difficulties that many patients have in reaching the Rehabilitation Center, due to increased closures and curfews, to obtain important ongoing care and avoid further clinical complications. The center has also faced financial hardships because of the current economic situation, which has greatly reduced patients' ability to pay for services.