Healing after tragedy

The Aiia Maasarwe Memorial Medical Fellowship has been set up in honour of the Arab-Israeli student who was raped and murdered while studying in Melbourne.

AS the result of a partnership between Hadassah Australia’s Project Rozana and Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, a Palestinian doctor will be the first paediatric haematologist oncologist trained to complete bone marrow transplants for children with cancer in the Palestinian Territories.

Currently, children in need of bone marrow transplants must leave their treatment centre and established medical team, and travel to parts of Israel, Jordan or Egypt.

Aiia Maasarwe

The partnership has come to fruition through the creation of the Aiia Maasarwe Memorial Medical Fellowship, in honour of the Arab-Israeli student who was raped and murdered while studying as an exchange student at La Trobe University earlier this year.

Inaugural fellowship recipient Dr Khadra Hasan Ali Salami (pictured with patient), who is based at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, will begin a two-year bone marrow specialisation at Hadassah Hospital under Professor Polina Stepensky.

Hadassah Hospital has been at the coalface of building the health capacity of Palestinian society for more than a century.

“It’s not only its proximity to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, but its philosophy of caring for all irrespective of religion, gender, nationality or politics,” said chair of Project Rozana, Ron Finkel.

Maasarwe’s father, Saeed, will join Dr Khadra Salami in attending the official launch of the fellowship in Australia this month.

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