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UPA Inaugurates Surgical Unit in Ramallah

For Immediate Release

UPA Inaugurates Surgical Unit in Ramallah
Minister of Health Dr. Jawad Awwad, Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah, UPA Executive Director Saleem Zaru, and Governor of Ramallah Dr. Laila Ghannam (from left to right) at the ribbon cutting.

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK - November 8, 2016 - United Palestinian Appeal (UPA) donated a state-of-the-art surgical unit with two operating rooms to the Palestine Medical Complex (PMC) in Ramallah, on Sunday, November 6, 2016. In attendance were His Excellency Prime Minister of Palestine Dr. Rami Hamdallah, His Excellency Minister of Health Dr. Jawad Awwad, and UPA Executive Director Saleem Zaru, who all delivered speeches.

"We are going forward with the institutionalization and development of the health sector, and we will ensure that we are able to provide high-quality and safe medical services," said Dr. Hamdallah.

The surgical unit will allow local Palestinian surgeons participating in the Embracing Life Program (ELP) to serve Palestinian patients with cleft lip and/or cleft palate and other craniofacial anomalies. In addition to biannual surgical delegations to the West Bank, the ELP team will continue to perform surgeries throughout the year, optimizing the use of these new operating rooms for years to come.

One of the two new ELP operating rooms at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Dr. Ahmed Bitawi, director of the PMC, stressed the importance of the renovation and its contribution to providing better medical services for Palestinians. He also extended his appreciation and gratitude to United Palestinian Appeal and staff for the Embracing Life Program.

The Embracing Life Program's mission is empowering Palestinian medical personnel to provide self-sufficient and comprehensive care for patients with cleft lip and/or cleft palate and other craniofacial anomalies and to transfer their knowledge to health systems where UPA is operational. The Program is comprised of medical professionals from various disciplines. Those disciplines range from orthodontists, dentists and pediatricians to feeding specialists, speech pathologists and surgeons.

UPA Executive Director Saleem Zaru thanks Thaer Hamayel from the Bank of Palestine for the bank's financial support of the Embracing Life Program.

Mr. Zaru expressed his appreciation for the generous supporters of the program, including Bank of Palestine, Smile Train, Ramallah Foundation, Inc., the George and Rhonda Salem Family Foundation, the Muna and Basem Hishmeh Foundation, and Mr. Mahmud Shaikhaly (deceased).

Also, as part of the Embracing Life Program, construction of a center in Gaza is expected to start by the end of 2016 in partnership with Al-Ahli Al-Arabi Hospital to provide care for craniofacial patients. Additionally, UPA has arranged access to the Rosary Sisters Hospital in Irbid, Jordan, to Hamshari Hospital close to Ein al-Hilweh and Mieh Mieh refugee camps in south Lebanon, and to Safad Hospital in Beddawi refugee camp in northern Lebanon, all of which will serve as launching pads for providing craniofacial care.

About United Palestinian Appeal

Established in 1978, United Palestinian Appeal,, is the oldest Palestinian-American non-profit organization working exclusively to help Palestinians. Throughout the years, UPA has allocated close to $100 million for projects and programs in support of its mission to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians, particularly those in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and refugee camps throughout the Middle East, and to contribute to the long-term socioeconomic and cultural development of Palestinian society. UPA has maintained its integrity as a strictly humanitarian organization, independent of any political affiliation or ideology. UPA's areas of focus are health and wellness, education, and community and economic development.