x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

46 years of patient care at Al Ain's Oasis Hospital

Founded by doctors Pat and Marian Kennedy shortly after they arrived in 1960, the little clinic changed the fate of babies and mothers in the Emirates.

 
 

Women prepare to enter the newly built permanent building of Oasis Hospital in Al Ain in 1964. The woman on the right has her hair tightly braided as was customary for women at the time. Different braiding styles were used by different tribes.

The hospital's first cement-block building housed 20 patient rooms, a nurses' station/nursery and a utility room. The hospital was the sole source of medical treatment for the residents of Al Ain and nearby Omani border towns. Soon after opening, the staff were seeing nearly 200 patients per day.

When Pat and Marian Kennedy, medical doctors and the hospital's founders, arrived in 1960, the infant mortality rate in Al Ain was 50 per cent, and the maternal mortality rate was 35 per cent. Thanks to the hospital, infant mortality rates are now about one per cent and maternal mortality is rare.

Funded by a grant from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, a new, state-of-the-art-hospital is scheduled for completion in 2012 on the existing hospital site.

 

Time Frame is a series that opens a window into the nation's past. Each week it features an image from the archives of both prominent institutions and private collections. Readers are invited to make contributions to yourpics@thenational.ae