Holy Family Hospital welcomes first Christmas newborn: a sign of hope
Palestine, 25 December 2020
The Order’s Holy Family Hospital all-Palestinian staff of 172 eagerly awaited the first Christmas baby as a sign of hope against the grim backdrop of Covid in Bethlehem. That first baby of Christmas was born at the Hospital at 2:05 am and was greeted by the peal of Bethlehem’s Christmas bells. Baby Gayth was expertly delivered into the arms of his parents by midwives Hanan and Ala. Linda, his mother, explained that Baby Gayth was the Christmas gift they had been awaiting since the beginning of the pandemic.
Unemployment and poverty have soared under the pandemic. Bethlehem, being the poorest Palestinian governate after Gaza, has a fragile economy even in good times. Food insecurity is growing, disproportionately impacting women and children. Despite the difficulties, the staff of the Order of Malta’s Hospital have been working twelve hour shifts, no days off, to care for the mothers and babies and to keep the Hospital open and safe despite the threat posed by Covid.
A joint project across the Order of Malta, under the operational responsibilities of the French Association of the Order of Malta, the Holy Family Hospital provides the population of Bethlehem and its surrounding area with high-quality maternity care for all patients.