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West Bank Palestinian surgeons volunteer in Gaza

Three Palestinian surgeons involved with a major new UPA project have volunteered to travel from the West Bank to Gaza to treat patients injured during the latest Israeli assault. Since arriving one week ago, the surgeons have been fulfilling a unique need: they are among the few Palestinians who specialize in treating oral and maxillofacial injuries, which many Palestinians in Gaza have sustained.

The surgeons are all participants in the Embracing Life Project, a UPA initiative to establish a Palestinian surgery center to treat cleft lips and palates and other craniofacial defects. The center will also train Palestinian doctors to conduct these surgeries and provide data that will help researchers speculate about the causes of craniofacial defects.

PA will soon begin constructing two operating rooms at a hospital in the West Bank. Project partners include, among others, Bethlehem University, Birzeit University, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The project will lay the groundwork for a larger, independent facility in Palestine called the Middle East Craniofacial Care Institute.

UPA is currently providing medical relief to Gaza that includes emergency medicines, disposables and pharmaceuticals worth $10.3 million.

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