We are a group of healthcare professionals including Orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthetists, nursing staff and physiotherapists.
The purpose of the Newcastle Gateshead Medical Volunteers is to provide voluntary Orthopaedic Surgery in the UK and abroad. During 2014 and 2015 our surgeons have performed more 50 operating list for the NHS without payment. We also continue to work with Iraqi charities to provide much needed orthopaedic assessment and surgical services to local people in Kurdistan.
We probably all appreciate that war does not come without a price to be paid by the local inhabitants of the area in which it is fought. This, indeed, was the case for Iraq and it's regions. During both Gulf wars there was huge media coverage of the conflict and its effect on the country and its people. However, as we all know, physical wounds can heal and homes and facilities can be rebuilt but what we rarely see in the media is the longer term devastation that the wars have had on Iraq's people, society and infrastructure. This is particularly evident in the Northern Region of Kurdistan which, for many years, has been calling for regional autonomy. Kurdistan was very much neglected by the Iraqi Government and this has resulted in disparities between both societies. The effect of 3 wars in Northern Iraq has only served to make this situation worse and this especially apparent in Kurdistan's health care system which is conspicuosly worse that the rest of Iraq.
The wars also resulted in the displacement of many thousands of of people across Kurdistan and countless numbers of these were forced to flee the country, often in fear of their lives. Vast numbers of doctors and healthcare workers were amongst these displaced people leaving a huge void in the number of suitably qualified and experienced surgeons. Professor Deiary Kader, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, was one of these people. When Professor Kader was eventually able to return to his homeland some 17 years after he was forced to leave, he realised that he and his colleagues may be in a position to help fill this void, especially with regard to Orthopaedic surgery and Muskuloskeletal services that were sadly lacking.
Registered Charity Number 1137730