Thursday 18th October 2018
We headed to the Jerusalem eye hospital this morning, we met Isla who was absolutely lovely. While there she explained about the eye hospital as well as the other smaller facilities. Prior to coming here I knew that St. John WA donated to the organisation but I was unaware that we actually fund for 2.5 nurses to work in the hospital and we are the biggest doner from St. John. They have the eye hospital as there is a huge amount of eye disease due to the high prevalence of diabetes as well as intrafamily marriage hence genetic eye disease amount young children. In Israel they have various separation walls which makes it very difficult for people to access health care and encourages intrafamily relations as they can’t leave their area. This also poses an issue in Gaza as people have to request approval to leave to go into Jerusalem for access to the main hospital and often they are denied access. There was a young child who needed assistance and while children are always granted, both of her parents were denied access. The grandmother then requested access and she was granted it which was lucky as the child would’ve otherwise have been on her own. They also run a community outreach program which they drive around in a combi providing health care and training to people in areas, this means that they are making contact with those who don’t come into the health centres for various reasons.
We enjoyed morning tea with the staff at the eye hospital group.
We walked to St. John UK and got to have a chat to the team about the service they provide in the various areas around the UK. It was a great opportunity to meet the team and ask them questions about their organisation and how it works with the NHS. We all felt very priveldged to meet and establish new relationships.
We caught the tube back to our hotel which was very exciting for me! Once we arrived back we quickly got ready and headed out again to Brompton Oratory to see Sir Vincent Fean who is the former consul-general for Jerusalem. His lecture was focussed on the Palestinian-British relationship which is very important for the eye hospital as it requires heavily on funding from external governements. It was a very interesting lecture to attend as people were given the opportunity to ask questions which sparked some interesting discussions. I did meet Lady Westbury who is one of the biggest donors to the eye hospital group.