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In August 2009 IDEALS Trustees Sir Terence English and John Beavis visited Gaza on behalf of PTC UK and supported by Medical Aid for Palestine MAP. The purpose was to meet with members of the medical profession and assess whether PTC was suitable for the area. We were greeted with enthusiasm and as well as deciding that a system of PTC would be of great value we also decided that there was much else that IDEALS could do to support these highly professional people. The memories of the Sarajevo siege were revived as it became obvious that the severe plight of the Gazans was matched by their determination to "carry on regardless".

In November Dr Andy Ferguson and John Beavis returned as an advanced party to prepare for a full PTC course and were joined five days later by a team consisting of three surgeons "including Sir Terence" and two anaesthetists to undertake two main courses and one Instructors course. From this a total of more than fourty doctors and nurses were trained and sixteen were appointed as Instructors to lead the development of PTC in Gaza.

IDEALS Technical advisor Andy Ferguson conducted a survey of the medical facilities in Gaza and concluded that the siege was responsible for delay and in some cases inadequate care of chronically sick patients. To assist with this would require massive funds but, as was discovered by IDEALS in Bosnia, solving such problems is an imperative part of reconstructing Gazan society. Greater effort must be made to try and develop local facilities and so IDEALS will try to establish Surgical Fellowships in limb reconstruction at a London Teaching hospital. The purpose of this is to train young surgeons in the management of patients with mutilating limb injuries from all trauma but especially those caused by war. In addition we hope to develop video conferencing for Gazan doctors to allow discussion and examination of patients with colleagues around the world.

Fri 01 Jan 2010