Outside with view of entry gate
I am writing to convey very positive news about our 1st Palestinian Birthing Center-Jordan Valley project! Thanks to your support, implementation of this project is now underway!
Last month, Donna Baranski-Walker, founder and executive director of Rebuilding Alliance, met with Jim Stunkel, Project Lead from Assist International, the organization that will provide the birthing center equipment and training. Donna and Jim then developed a Memorandum of Understanding for all the stakeholders in the project and connected with the Rotary Club of Ramallah (our project partners) to work through details.
Here are all the tasks that must be addressed:
- Shipping Details: The equipment must arrive safely in Israel or in Jordan without tariffs. From there it must be transported to Al Aqaba in a timely manner. Our Customs approval process presents interesting challenges becaues Al Aqaba Village is in Area C, the part of the West Bank that is solely controlled by Israel.
- Clinic Preparation: Jim Stunkel now has the photos he needed showing where our equipment will be placed inside Al Aqaba's Al Amal (Hope) Clinic. Jim is working through siting for the ultrasound, heart, incubator equipment and labor/delivery beds, and also electricity and transformer connections;
- Signature of Memorandum of Understanding: To make this project come together, a number of groups and individuals will each play an important role. Rebuilding Alliance, the Rotary Club of Ramallah, and the Rotary Club of Woodside/Portola Valley, and Assist International all have their roles -- and so does Mayor Haj Sami, Governor Toubassi, and the Minister of Health! One of the challenges here has to do with the simple fact that babies are born at every time of day or night. That means our clinic must be staffed 24/7... with the Palestinian government unable to pay salaries and consumer riots in the streets, it is a tough time to request a new staffing commitment in Al Aqaba.
- Palestinian Medical Team: Once the staffing comitment is made and funded, the Ministry of Health and the Mayor of Al Aqaba will begin recruitment of an experienced Palestinian doctor to supervise the team of technicians, doctors and midwives. The qualified Doctor/supervisor is someone who already uses ultrasound. Dedicated daily staffing should be provided by qualified nurses, midwifes and medical support specialists as needed for the anticipated patient services. This staff will need to participate in all installation and orientation training of donated equipment.
- U.S. Training Team: Recruitment of two technicians who will provide training as to use and maintenance of the equipment;
- Visiting Rotarians: A group of Rotarians and friends would like to come to Al Aqaba while the medical team is there, then tour Palestine and Israel too. I think we're talking springtime.
- Awareness of our Birthing Center: We’ll want to have the full assistance of the Governor, the Minister of Health, and all the neighboring mayors to welcome this clinic and let families throughout the Jordan Valley know that it is here.
- Diplomatic Assistance: We’ll need the British Consulate, the American Consulate, and the many consulates and agencies that have invested in Al Aqaba to express their support for the clinic, both publically and privately, so that patients can reach the birthing center, and the clinic will stay safe.
Below are some pictures of the medical clinic, along with Kali’s measurements of the clinic. We at Rebuilding Alliance are excited to see photos of where the clinic will be located and are happy to share them with you! Thank you again for supporting this project!
Hallway and bathrooms to the right
Window Room A
Window Room B
Center area and Reception area
Clinic's layout with measurements
The Medical Clinic in Al Aqaba!