IDEALS returned to Gaza on Sunday 7th September 2014

The IDEALS team was the clinical arm of a combined project supported financially by HM Government Department and logistically managed by the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians. The IDEALS’ representatives consisted of Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeons, Graeme Groom, Sarah Phillips and John Beavis. Accompanying them were other King’s College Hospital Consultants Dr Simon Calvert, a Director of the Accident and Emergency Department, and Mr Naveen Cavale, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.

The Organisational Director in the field of this mission, with considerable expert in Public Health was, as usual, Dr Andrew Ferguson who is the Technical Advisor to IDEALS. Although the Peace Agreement had been in existence for two weeks there were still deficiencies. Andrew Ferguson’s assessment, which will be published separately, showed major problems with equipment and widespread domestic and social inadequacies as a result of the prolonged hostilities. He linked up with other organisations such as the Limb Fitting Centre run by ICRC and visiting members of Handicap International. It became obvious that the planned Limb Reconstruction work would have to link up strongly with the ICRC Unit while Handicap International demonstrated there were a significant number of patients living outside the hospitals with major limb injuries.

Gaza team September.jpg

Surgical work was undertaken but assessment revealed that many of the evacuated patients had been returned without any treatment. Mr Naveen Cavale advised on complex plastic surgical problems and was involved in the reconstructive surgery while Sarah Phillips and Graeme Groom undertook specific limb reconstruction work. All were of the opinion he stated that the main focus was to develop equipment that is required and to organise the repeated visits of the combined team. Dr Simon Calvert, accompanied by John Beavis, made a detailed assessment of the Accident and Emergency Department and the extensive care given at Shiva Hospital and the Burns Unit. The full report will be posted on this website but it is clear that a long term training and advisory programme must be set in motion to try to establish a modern Emergency Department system. Dr Calvert’s training work will be based at King’s College Hospital.

The IDEALS team, which will include Dr Eamon McCoy (Consultant Anaesthetist and IDEALS Trustee) will return to Gaza on 18th October 2014 and they will actively pursue these challenging tasks.

Thu 25 Sep 2014