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Rome Reports

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Image of Holy Family, a gift from a Muslim mother

Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem is a space for hope in Palestine. 

Here, in this Pediatric Intensive Care Ward, most of the babies are children of Muslim mothers. 

One of them, Reema, gave this image of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as a “thank you” to the doctors who saved her son's life, after a complicated premature birth.

This health center, managed by the Order of Malta, is the only one capable of maintaining the life expectancy of premature babies born in Palestine with only seven months of gestation. 

Of the 4,500 babies born here each year, about 470 need to go through this intensive care unit.

Intensive Care Unit Doctor
“The law in Palestine [if a baby is born] under 25 [weeks] is an abortion. Here, (because) we respect the soul and we respect Catholic principles. So if the baby has a heart rate in the in the delivery room, we support them, even if he is very small. Our survival rate is very, very high.”

In addition to providing quality care for families in Bethlehem, this hospital is a promoter and example of religious coexistence. 

Intensive Care Unit Doctor
“We work together, you know? Half of our employees are Muslims. Then 99.9 percent of our patients are Muslims. This makes us proud, that we are serving not only our people? Because if we were serving only our people, we wouldn't do anything. Jesus Christ said if you love somebody from your family. Do you understand me? You didn't do anything. But if you love somebody, even if [they are] a stranger or enemy, [that] is the important thing. This is the value.”

This hospital, a few feet from the place where Jesus was born, is today a benchmark of professionalism and respect for the dignity of each patient.

Mother (Palestinian)
“I truly thank the employees of the hospital. Because I first was admitted as a caesarian section but they stood with me and they helped me throughout the whole thing. In the end, I was able to deliver normally.”

The Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem continues to grow and prepares the construction of a new pavilion for gynaecological care.

It's a tribute to life right next to the place where Jesus was born.