Mr. Hans Jacob Frydenlund, Norwegian Representative to the Palestinian Authority, and Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, a Norwegian Lutheran theologian and General Secretary of the World Council of Churches since 2010, visited Augusta Victoria Hospital on February 4, 2012.
Rev. Tveit and Mr. Frydenlund were given a tour of the hospital by Dr. Tawfiq Nasser, CEO of Augusta Victoria Hospital, and Rev. Mark Brown, the Regional Representative of the Lutheran World Federation in Jerusalem and the Middle East. Dr. Nasser and Rev. Brown emphasized the role of Augusta Victoria Hospital as a specialty care facility providing access to treatment for Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.
Special attention was given to projects supported by the Norwegian government, Norwegian churches and church associations, and other Norwegian institutions. The hospital’s second medical linear accelerator, which provides radiation treatment to cancer patients, is installed within the $1.2-million chamber donated by the Government of Norway through Norwegian Church Aid. The addition of the second linear accelerator is a major step forward for the AVH Cancer Care Center and is critical in the effort to treat the annual 10-percent increase in the number of patients needing radiation therapy at the hospital.
Many referrals for treatment at the hospital come directly from the all-female team of Palestinian physicians, nurses and technicians that staff the hospital’s Mobile Mammography Unit (MMU). Donated by the people and government of Norway, the breast cancer screening program, launched in February 2010, strives to identify women with breast cancer at an early stage so they may be referred to AVH for treatment with better outcomes. In the program’s first two years of operation, thousands of women in the West Bank have attended educational sessions and received mammograms and ultrasound scans.