Surgeons and anaesthetists rapidly trained to treat trauma injuries in Gaza

During a remarkable four-day Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) course, surgeons and anaesthetists from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Qatar gathered in Bolton to learn how to treat trauma injuries in the Gaza Strip.

Organised in two weeks in collaboration with Palmed, 42 doctors headed for the Middle East were trained to treat complex trauma injuries incurred in the Israel-Gaza conflict. This course not only marks a significant step towards preparing medical professionals for future missions in Palestine but also reflects a shared commitment to saving lives in conflict zones.

 “Thank you to the David Nott Foundation. Without them, this training would not have been possible. Together, we are organising this course to assist the people in the Gaza Strip once it is safe and travel becomes feasible. The response from numerous doctors expressing their desire to help has been overwhelming, and we are hopeful to conduct a second course in the coming weeks.” – Riyadh Al Masharqa, Plastic surgeon, PalMed

Addressing urgent medical needs in Gaza

The course was organised in response to the pressing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Palestine. According to on-the-ground partners, medical professionals are stretched to their limits and hospitals are overwhelmed.

The group included specialists in orthopaedic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatric anaesthesia, and general surgery. Some brought valuable, first-hand experience from regions affected by conflict, like Afghanistan and Syria, while others joined to grow their understanding of how to treat war wounds before heading on mission.

“I’m excited about expanding my skill set beyond obstetrics and gynaecology to acquire new capabilities that will benefit mothers and their infants in Gaza and the West Bank. I recognize the desperate need for assistance in this region. This course is unique as it combines obstetrics and gynaecology with trauma care. This training aims to address complex challenges comprehensively and I look forward to it.” – Dr Iman Al Mabhooh, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

A troop of volunteers

For the very first time, 11 FDNF volunteers from our Friends of The David Nott Foundation (FDNF) and Trainees of The David Nott Foundation (TDNF) societies volunteered to help arrange and assist during the course. This joint effort meant it could be organised at lightning speed, rapidly creating a network of well-trained war doctors.

“Given not only the humanitarian crisis in Gaza but with the targeting of healthcare workers in particular it’s never been more important to strengthen our healthcare colleagues and equip them with the skills to do their incredibly difficult jobs and to support them through a very precarious situation.” – Nadia, FDNF Manchester President

Our surgical HEST and anaesthesia courses were held simultaneously, demonstrating our commitment to enhancing the skills of all those striving to preserve life in the operating theatre.

“What has been great about this course is meeting people that have experienced things in the field. From the anaesthetics point of view, it’s been helpful to learn how they deal with limited resources and supplies, and we have been using airway mannequins and practicing with video scopes.”- Dr Douglas Philpott, Anaesthetist

We’re committed

As war continues to rage, we are working on a second surgical training course with the goal of upskilling even more frontline medical professionals. We won’t stop empowering doctors with the knowledge needed to save lives and limbs against the odds.

Our latest training in Palestine