17 March 2007

Seven doctors to teach and learn in Gaza - second voyage of the D&D

Press Release 7-03-07 from David Halpin FRCS 0044 (0)1364 661115

Seven doctors going to Gaza - 18th of March

- the second 'voyage' of the Dove and the Dolphin

A neonatologist, a senior lecturer in public health, a Professor of Physiology, an anatomist, a urological surgeon, a physician with an interest in endocrine disease and a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon are going to Gaza, to learn, to teach and to stand with a captive people.

(The flight out - 22.30 hrs on Sunday the 18th of March. Arr Tel Aviv 05.25 hrs)

The long planned Dove and Dolphin International Medical Centre at Al Wafa hospital will be inaugurated and nine days then spent teaching and learning with post graduate doctors, UN food programme officials, water and sewage engineers - and medical students. These meetings will take place in the mornings in the centre. The team will go out to hospitals, clinics, public works etc in the afternoons. Two or three evening meetings are planned at the end of the working day so more Palestinian doctors and other health workers can attend.

A paediatric neurologist was sought within the ranks of the Physicians for Human Rights – Israel but notice was too short for success.

The doctors will collect solid information on common medical problems – iron deficiency anaemia ( affecting about 30% of mothers and children), access to specialist treatment for such as cancer, renal failure, coronary disease. They will also see and hear how the training of nurses, midwives, public health workers proceeds within Gaza prison. Their collated findings will be offered for publication in medical journals.

The seven doctors will leave Gaza on the 29th of March for Al Quds (Jerusalem) where informal meetings with Palestinian, and possibly Israeli doctors will take place. They might visit Nablus where the hospitals have been closed to patients by the invading Israeli army and where there have been deaths and injuries http://www.palestinemonitor.org/nueva_web/index.htm

The ethos that will be striven for at the centre is captured in its founding statement:-

The Dove and Dolphin International Medical Centre

''It is recognised that the brutal occupation has limited the teaching of medicine and its allied subjects in Palestine. Its people deserve the best standards of practice within a universal health service. The Dove and Dolphin International Medical Centre has been conceived to help in these aims by inviting doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and all who enhance health, to come together so that they mutually increase their knowledge, skills and morale. Thus all who participate will be committing themselves to the highest ideals of their professions and so serve all the people to the best of their abilities.''

Dr Khamis Elessi MD Dr David Halpin FRCS

Arrival back in UK:-

The doctors will be flown home on the 1st of April on BA 164 arriving Heathrow at 20.30 hrs.

The first voyage of the Dove and the Dolphin out of which the charity was founded was from Torquay on the 3rd of February 2003, arriving Ashdod on the 16th of February 2003.

Michael Halpin 0044 1722 320694 e-mail [email protected]