The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group is the only charitable provider of expert eye care in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, treating patients regardless of ethnicity, religion or ability to pay.
St John organisations across the world support the Eye Hospital through donations, enabling the sight-saving work which benefits hundreds of thousands of patients each year.
St John Scotland has long been a supporter of the Eye Hospital, donating funds towards the building of the Hebron clinic as well as annually sponsoring the Hospital Group's Anaesthetists, Dr Issa Abu Sa'da and Dr Khadijeh Feroun.
In September, St John Scotland's Prior and Hospitaller visited Jerusalem to see first hand the life-changing work that takes place, and meet the dedicated staff team.
During their time there, the Prior, Major General Mark Strudwick, spent time with one of the Hospital Group's Mobile Outreach Teams. The teams travel across the West Bank every week in a fully equipped Outreach vehicle, enabling them to screen patients suffering from a variety of eye conditions. They treat up to 10,000 Palestinians each year in what are often difficult to reach locations; patients who would otherwise struggle to access treatments.
St John Scotland's Hospitaller, Dr John Ferguson-Smith, also had the opportunity to visit the Hebron Hospital, for which St John Scotland was the major donor. He met with staff and patients, and learned about the impact of the work which takes place at the clinic, including sight-saving cataract and laser eye surgery to treat diabetic retinopathy. The new Hebron Hospital was officially opened by the Prior of St John Scotland in 2016. It is larger and in a more central location within the city than the previous clinic, improving the accessibility of services for individuals and increasing the number of people who can access treatments.