Iraqi doctors and senior nurses learn new techniques in head and neck cancer management

Thirty-two Iraqi Surgeons, Medical Oncologists and Senior Nurses travelled to the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan at the beginning of June to participate in a Seminar on Cancer Management.

The Iraqi Doctors and Senior Nurses travelled in convoy from all parts of Iraq, under the auspices of British Council to Jordan, where they spent 5 days learning new techniques in head and neck cancer management. The Seminar was organised by Brian Conroy a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Surrey’s Bio-Medical Engineering Centre. Brian is the Honorary Secretary of the Norman Rowe Educational Trust, a Foundation that is committed to providing humanitarian aid to those in need.

“The Iraqi doctors were very reserved at first, but they did open up during the question period. It soon became apparent the facilities and working conditions in Iraq, are very poor, compared to the UK. The medical and surgical skills, of those attending from Iraq, proved to be very high, but they lack up-to-date information of the modern advances, in the management of cancer, and there is a lack of technological support” said Brian Conroy.

“Clinical resources, such as Chemotherapy Drugs, Radiation and Diagnostic Facilities, are in very short supply, often influencing the level of treatment that can be provided. Apparently, there is also a grave shortage of Clinical and Scientific Text Books and Journals, throughout the Country.”

“We hope that our recent activity aimed at helping colleagues in Iraq, will stir the imagination of other UK Medical and Surgical Professionals, to provide similar courses in other clinical fields, benefit the retraining of Iraqi Medical Staff, to help them in their future rebuilding of Clinical Services.”

All aspects of Head and Neck Cancer Management were covered in the Scientific Programme; from the Epidemiology of Cancer: ’its Identification; Location and extent of Disease Progression:’ Optimum Treatment Regimes to Rehabilitation and Restoration. Special sessions on the role of the Macmillian Nurse, and Speech Therapy for the Post resection patient were of particular interest to all the delegates attending the Seminar.

The Seminar was held under the Patronage of her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, who recently received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Surrey, in recognition of her long-standing commitment to improve Health Care and Education of those in under privileged countries. Her Majesty Queen Noor said in an opening address to the Delegates and Speakers:

"The King Hussein Foundation strongly supports all endeavours to improve cancer treatment through International co-operation. Civilised societies have always been willing to share knowledge and resources freely, for the glory of knowledge itself, and to improve Health, Welfare, Education and Prosperity, especially for those most in need. You are here to advance human knowledge, in ways that will ease human suffering, and you are doing it by working together, you are demonstrating compassion at a time when the world needs it most, let us hope that others follow your example."

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