Loading
Bethlehem hospital creates 'birth clock' as 50,000th delivery approaches
A nurse cares for an infant at Holy Family Hospital
A nurse cares for an infant at Holy Family Hospital

.- The Knights of Malta-operated Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem is expecting the imminent delivery its 50,000th baby after 20 years of operation. Its backers have created a website “birth clock” to track the approach of the landmark.

As of Oct. 5, 49,824 babies had been delivered. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta reopened Holy Family Hospital in 1990 as a maternity hospital which refuses no one on the basis of race, religion or ability to pay.

A girl named Dina Atik was the first baby delivered on Feb. 26, 1990. Her parents Marlen and Edward had married a year earlier at the Church of the Nativity.

While the hospital has since become the premier institution of the district, the first-time mother Marlen was afraid because the medical center had just opened. “The staff was very nice and everybody was calming me down,” she said. “When Dina was born, everybody was so happy.”

The hospital's first baby was later baptized in the hospital garden, and the French consul was named her godfather.

Since her birth, Dina has survived the second intifada, become a basketball player, and joined her Catholic school's scout troop. She is now engaged to be married and is a second-year student in business administration at Bethlehem University, though her travel is limited by the restrictions placed upon Bethlehem residents.

In addition to delivering babies, Holy Family Hospital also provides outreach through a mobile van. Hospital staff visit three locations in the Judean desert every week. Scores of women and children from remote hillside communities visit the vans for medial services.

The medical outreach teams provide prenatal exams, lab tests, pediatric exams and gynecological exams. They also teach mothers about hygiene and childcare while observing living conditions. In an average stop, the team examines 30 expectant mothers who are in desperate need of prenatal care.

Colleen Marotta, executive director of the Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation, said that the families live in “dreadful poverty and isolation.”

“They live in canvas tents or metal shacks with no running water, no electricity and no sanitation. They live in extended family groups of 20-40 … outcasts of a cast-out population.”

Marotta explained that the hospital foundation's website has a special resources section with stories about mothers and babies whose lives have been saved by the hospital. Website visitors will find features about the mobile outreach clinics and staff members. “And they’ll learn more about the various ways they can assist the hospital in its ongoing mission to provide a safe haven and the highest quality health care for mothers and newborns in the West Bank,” she commented.

The Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation's website and the “birth clock” are at www.BirthplaceofHope.org.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A state without territory elects new government
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Jul
24

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17

Gospel
Date
07/24/14
07/23/14
07/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17

Homily
Date
07/24/14
07/23/14
07/21/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: