CURE International, a US-based Christian medical charity which operates teaching hospitals throughout the developing world, yesterday announced plans to open a $16.5 million state-of-the-art medical training centre and hospital in Bethlehem, Palestine.
The facility will be the first specialty surgical care available to Palestinian children in the West Bank.
"This cardiac and orthopaedic hospital fills a major need in the West Bank where medical care is severely limited," said Dr. Scott Harrison, an orthopaedic surgeon who founded CURE International ten years ago and serves as the organization's president and chief executive officer.
Harrison is appreciative of the cooperation between Christians, Muslims and Jews who are working together to provide medical care for children in the area. "The Bethlehem hospital is unique in that it is bringing together three faith groups to build a facility of healing in a very volatile region," said Harrison. "Christians and Muslims will serve together at the hospital and will receive additional training at some of the leading hospitals in Jerusalem including Hadassah and Schneider."
The Bethlehem hospital represents a dimension of CURE that Dr Harrison did not anticipate when he founded the organization to help children in developing nations. In moving into Palestine, CURE leadership hopes to build bridges of understanding to the Muslim world -- a vision they have aggressively embraced after opening a successful hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, two years ago and acquiring another hospital in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, last year.
"The CURE hospital will be well received by all people," said Salah Al Tamari, governor of Bethlehem. "In Bethlehem, we set the example for co-existence. Bethlehem is not just a holy place. It is a message - a message of peace, tolerance, freedom, and acceptance of all people."
In addition to the hospitals in Afghanistan and United Arab Emirates, CURE also operates teaching hospitals in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia. The organization also plans to expand its reach in the next two years with new hospitals in Egypt, Ethiopia and Niger.
CURE International is a Christian non-profit organization committed to the physical and spiritual healing of disabled children in developing countries. CURE International transforms the lives of children and their families, serving all by establishing specialty teaching hospitals, building partnerships and advocating for those who need healing.
To date, CURE has performed 41,000 surgeries and treated more than 600,000 patients.