TPRF Gives US$25,000 to Help Provide Eye Care for Children in Palestinian Territories

Published October 14th, 2009 - 12:48 GMT

A $25,000 grant by The Prem Rawat
Foundation (TPRF) is helping St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital (SJJEH) to provide
eye care for 30,000 children in an area of the world where blindness is ten times
higher than in the West. Over 50% of the people in the Palestinian Territories, one
of the world's fastest growing populations, are now under the age of 18, and almost
that many live below the poverty level.

This is the second grant that TPRF has made to St. John Eye Hospital. Chairman John
Talbot expressed his appreciation: "The continued, generous support of The Prem
Rawat Foundation this year will permit the St. John Eye Hospital Group to expand and
improve our much-needed services for the children of East Jerusalem, the West Bank
and Gaza. Congenital eye disease and disfigurement are rife amongst the younger
generation in the Holy Land, and our work ensures that many young people grow up
with more opportunity to learn and become productive adults in an already difficult

SJJEH is the only charitable pediatric ophthalmic provider across the West Bank,
Gaza strip, and East Jerusalem and expects to treat over 30,000 children this year.
Open to people of all religions and ethnicities, SJJEH serves the area with two
hospitals, two clinics and two mobile outreach clinics. This broad outreach is
particularly significant because of the difficulty of traveling due to the numerous
checkpoints and barriers throughout the region.

The ongoing political disputes have made this one of the world's most difficult
environments in which to provide services of any kind. Yet early detection of eye
disorders and disease is critical to prevent later loss of sight. With early
detection, 80% of blindness is preventable.

St. John Eye Hospital states its goal: "For our patients, lives can be transformed
through treatment and surgical intervention. Children's sight will be saved, and
many more will simply be able to lead normal lives, going to school and able to
function in the adult world. Our goal is to eliminate preventable blindness in the
Palestinian Territories."

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