Provincial press releases

End of the road for mobile dental clinic

A Church project to fund a mobile dental unit in Gaza is coming to an end.

For the past 17 years, the Church in Wales has been the sole supporter of a mobile dental unit in Gaza, set up to deliver frontline medical aid around the bombed out streets of Gaza. The unit was run by the Near East Council of Churches as part of the work of its family health centres in Gaza.

Now the work of the mobile dental unit has become part of the overall work of the health centres and so the fund is being wound up.

The Gaza project was the main beneficiary of the Church’s Jubilee Fund, which was set up to mark the Millennium by supporting worldwide projects. Over the years, it has raised almost £220,000 and supported 11 overseas projects. Since 2007 the Fund has solely supported the Gaza Mobile Dental Clinic, and in 2009 assisted the Near East Council of Churches (NECC) in restocking and rebuilding the Shija’ia Family Health Clinic.

Lead Bishop John Davies, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, said, “The Jubilee Fund was originally set up with an expected 10 year life span. Having achieved its primary objectives in the first decade, due to events in Gaza in 2008-09 and the continuing work of the mobile dental unit, the Bishops decided to extend the funding.

“In recent years the annual reports from the NECC show that the work of the unit is not the priority it was when it was set up and that it is now part of the overall work of the clinic.

“We are pleased that the Church in Wales was able to respond to the call for practical help when it was most needed and we are proud to have been able to fund the mobile clinic for so long.  The van, with its distinctive Welsh red-dragon stickers, was a familiar sight in Gaza City, and examinations, treatments and medicines were provided free of charge, thanks to the generosity of churches and individuals in Wales. We would like to thank everyone who contributed over the years.”