Staff Spotlight – Zeinab Alwadidi

  • 07 Mar 2023

Zeinab has been working as a nurse at St John’s Eye Hospital in Gaza for the last
five years. She is the sole provider for her widowed mother and sibling. The years I have spent at the Eye Hospital have been incredible. They have helped me develop my skills as a nurse so that I can provide the best care for the patients that come through our doors.

“Though we work in the most difficult areas, with regular power cuts, I love my job. Being able to help those in need makes it worthwhile.”

We face so many challenges during the pandemic with power cuts every day that hugely disrupts our work. A military siege in the Gaza Strip caused many disruptions to our deliveries of supplies. This had a huge knock-on effect on our work plans and surgeries. We still are working through the backlog of patients that had to be suspended during the lockdown. The hospital was under a large strain with members of staff getting sick with COVID-19. Gaza is a challenging place to work due to the large amounts of poverty in the area so much so that some can’t even afford to travel to the hospital for their surgeries or check-ups.

A 54-year teacher from Gaza comes to the hospital with cloudy vision. Her vision had gotten so bad, she was terrified of even crossing the road. She is someone who loves reading, writing, and watching historical documentaries, which her diminished vision impaired her from doing. We diagnosed her with cataracts, which if left untreated, could lead to further ocular tissue damage. As a teacher, this hugely impaired her ability to do her job. Unemployment is high in Gaza and losing her job could have been a close reality. She said she didn’t even have money for her surgery. Despite her fears, she kept encouraging her children to keep focusing on their studies. Her operation was only a 20-minute procedure but the results were astounding! Her joy was infectious. She couldn’t wait to get home to see her children and thanked the staff profusely.