ST JOHN GATEWAY PROJECTS 2021-22
Each year, the Gateway chooses three global St John projects to support. By running an awareness campaign within our Gateway group, we hope to help raise support and vital funds for people in need, and in so doing make a real difference.
St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital
Amongst the Palestinian people blindness is ten times more prevalent than in Western European countries. There are high levels of hereditary eye disease among children which can cause irreversible damage if left untreated. Furthermore, up to 15% of the adult population is diabetic, and therefore 25 times more likely to develop blindness than we are in the UK.
Blindness represents a lifetime of disadvantage in already desperately poor circumstances. Children struggle to learn or interact with their peers, and breadwinners are unable to hold down jobs and support themselves and their families.
Established over 130 years ago, St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group operates hospitals and clinics in Jerusalem, Anabta, Gaza and Hebron providing eye care to over 3 million Palestinians. Over 100,000 patients receive treatment per year and over 4,000 major operations are performed. Not only is St John the only facility within the Palestinian territories which trains doctors to become ophthalmologists, but it is unique in that that it provides eye care free for those who do not have the means to pay for it, providing care regardless of the patient’s race, religion or ethnicity.
For more information on St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital, please visit their website: https://www.stjohneyehospital.org
St John Covid-19 Response
St John Ambulance people are supporting the NHS to care for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our charity’s vital role in responding to the needs of communities across the nation has never been more relevant or urgent. We are supporting patients and the NHS in hospital emergency departments and our ambulance crews are working 24/7 supporting 999 emergencies and transporting recovered patients back home safely. Volunteers have been working in the temporary Nightingale Hospitals and supporting people in the community through our Community First Responders.
By mid-May 2020, the Ambulance’s efforts in providing manpower to prop up the NHS had seen it give more than 25,000 hours of care and attend to more than 1,300 patients in London alone in the first 20 days of the pandemic. In so doing, the organisation’s resources have been stretched to its limits and it is in desperate need of financial aid in order to continue its support on the front line.
For more information on the St John Covid-19 Response in England, please visit the St John Ambulance website: https://www.sja.org.uk/what-we-do/Coronavirus-support/
St John Zambia Mother & Baby Programme
Each year, 2.6 million children die before they are one month old. A further 200,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth. Most of these deaths can be easily prevented if the women know how to minimise their risks, and if infants and mothers get the right healthcare at the right time.
St John Zambia is training local people as St John volunteers in first aid and mother and child health. They make door-to-door visits to their neighbours, family and friends, where they help pregnant women develop a birth plan, teach them about danger signs and provide advice on what to do in an emergency. The volunteers also encourage antenatal and postnatal services early and regularly, and make health referrals to a nearby heath centre. St John actively involves husbands and partners, who learn how to support their spouses and children, for example jointly planning a safe birth and saving enough money for transportation to the clinic.
In addition, St John supports efforts of local health authorities and front-line workers with basic supplies, such as benches for pregnant women who sat on floors, scales to weigh pregnant women and newborns or blood pressure monitors. When there is no health centre close by, St John is helping the local health authorities in setting up makeshift clinics in tents or empty rooms to provide HIV testing, family planning, and checks for pregnant women, new mothers and babies.
Within the first six years of the programme, St John Zambia could reach more than 26,400 women and 10,500 men with life-saving maternal and infant health services. St John also targeted another 112,000 community members with health education on maternal and child health. Further support will enable St John Zambia to expand the programme into other parts of the country, and help pregnant women, new mothers and babies.
For more information on the international Mother & Baby Programme, please visit the St John International website: https://www.stjohninternational.org/mother-baby