London medics travel to Iraq to treat Peshmerga fighters taking on Isis

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A team of doctors and nurses is taking hospital equipment from Britain to Iraq to treat Peshmerga fighters and civilians injured in the conflict against Islamic State.

The medics, who will by led by orthopaedic surgeons Deiary Kader and Richard Field, expect to conduct at least 35 operations at a hospital in Erbil in Kurdish Iraq. Their patients will include Kurdish troops wounded by bullets  during the recent battle for Mosul as well as members of families hurt in the fighting.

To help them perform the surgery safely, they will be using anaesthetic equipment which has been decommissioned by South West London  Elective Orthopaedic Centre at Epsom Hospital, and transported to Iraq. 

 Professor Kader, an Iraqi Kurd who came to Britain as a refugee in 1993, said the aim was to help poorer Kurds who had suffered conflict injuries that they could not afford to have treated.

“We will be operating on injured Peshmerga, their families and civilians who have fled from danger. We treat every poor person who cannot afford the burden of travelling abroad for high-tech modern treatment. 

“Some have blunt trauma injuries, some have bullet injuries. Most have been affected by conflict. Some have had fractures before, some have severely deformed joints, arthritis as a result of trauma.  We do surgery on the destitute and the underprivileged.” Professor Kader, 52, is a knee specialist whose career includes a period as team doctor to Newcastle United. He said the donated equipment had been replaced by more modern machinery in Epsom, but was still safer and better  than that currently in Kurdish Iraq. 

“Taking these machines will be helping to deliver safer healthcare. They will be used to put patients to sleep and monitor them while they are operated on,” he said. 

“Our hospital in Epsom decommissioned them after acquiring new ones. They are high quality and much safer than the ones in Kurdistan. We do fractures, multiple ligament injuries, hip, ankle and knee surgery.”

He emphasised that patients of all faiths would be treated. NGMV, the charity which he set up to carry out such missions, has been going to Iraq for six years to help injured people. “We have treated thousands of patients. We have never discriminated,” he said.

Professor Field travelled to the Tunisian border in 2011 to treat victims of the conflict in Libya. 

Six other medical staff will join the trip to Erbil this month, including a surgeon from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and nurses.


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