A medical conference and training session took place last week at Haddasah Ein Kerem Hospital for Palestinian nurses and doctors. The conference, which focused on medical care for trauma victims, was organized by the Health Coordinator of the Civil Administration. More conferences are expected to take places in the coming weeks on several other medical issues.
Date: 18.03.14 Author: Ariella Lemberg
On Monday, (10.3.14) the first training session for Palestinian medical workers took place. The session, which focused on trauma treatments, included lectures and presentations from trauma experts, as well as a tour of the trauma and rapid treatment wing in the hospital. The session was organized by the CA Health Administrator, Daliah Bassah, for the purpose of strengthening the ties between Israeli and Palestinian medical professionals, as well as to train them so as to better equipped to deal with trauma victims in multiple victim scenarios.
The dire need for advanced training in the field of trauma was brought to light after a serious traffic accident at the Kalandia-Giv’a junction in February 2012, in which 8 people were killed and 50 injured when a bus carrying Palestinian children and an Israeli truck collided. While the CA and Daliah were in touch with the Palestinian hospitals following the accident, providing aid and expertise, coordinating emergency care between Israeli and Palestinian emergency medical services, as well as coordinating transport to hospitals in Israel and the West Bank, it was decided that more advanced training was needed as well. Following the event, it was realized that a more efficient method of coping was needed.
“It is important that all of us in the medical field, both Israeli and Palestinian, speak the same professional language as well as have clear and open lines of communication during times of crises and multiple trauma victims so as to be able to provide the best care possible”, said the head of the Haddasah trauma wing, Dr. Miklush Balah. “When Palestinian doctors turn to us for help, we need to know what the status of the patient is and what treatment they have already administered, in order to advise them on the best course of action, as well as to decide if they need to be transferred to an Israeli hospital”.
Attending the conference were two Palestinian doctors who are currently interning at the hospital, as part of a program where Palestinian doctors, nurses, and technicians from Palestinian hospitals intern at Israeli hospitals and receive high level training, with which they return to their original hospitals upon concluding the internship. The two doctors, Dr. Abed Salameh and Dr. Muhamad Awa’ad, who are interning in trauma related fields, have already had the opportunity to put what they learned in Israel to use, although not quite in the way they thought they would. Dr. Awa’ad was able to save the life of his niece by pushing her doctors away from riskier, more invasive options and running more tests before operating on her, and Dr. Salameh treated twin girls who were involved in a car accident that he witnessed on his way to work one morning.
“I’m currently interning at a hospital in Israel, but I fully intend to return to a hospital in the West Bank and use the knowledge I have gained here to improve the treatment we are able to give there” explained Dr. Awa’ad. “Advancement in the field of medicine and the cooperation we have between the medical systems, is, for me, is a direct road to peace”.