Newsletter 2000

Issue number 6 Autumn 2000


During my recent visit to Iraq this September, I witnessed a noticeable improvement in the general upkeep of the paediatric hospitals in Baghdad. There also appeared to be a reasonable supply, although somewhat erratic, of basic medicines made available through the implementation of the UN 'Oil for Food' programme. Sadly, these improvements still fall short of the vast needs of the medical institutions. Aside from the more general immediate needs such as the complete renovation and re-equipping of hospitals, there are specific shortages that require urgent attention. These include a wide spectrum of vital medicines, medical and surgical equipment, spare parts as well as medical textbooks and journals.

In the past year, MAIC has endeavoured to pay special attention to fulfilling some of those specific needs. The Charity has delivered medicines and medical equipment to seven paediatric hospitals: four in Baghdad, one in Basra and one in Al-Nassiriya in the south as well as one in Mosul in the north of the country. The consignments included medical and surgical equipment, cancer drugs, third generation antibiotics, beds and bedlinen as well as medical textbooks and journals. Our most notable achievement this year has probably been the delivery and installation of MAIC's first, fully-equipped, 3-bed paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital. The unit has been fully operational since August 2000.

The value of the Charity's humanitarian aid for this year was over £360,000. As ever, it is only the continued generosity of our supporters together with the unflagging efforts of MAIC's members that has made this possible. I extend my gratitude to all these wonderful people.

May Al-Daftari


o On 1st April 2000, MAIC's Annual Dinner was held at the Dorchester Hotel in
London. This year, the dinner commemorated the Charity's 5th anniversary. The evening was attended by 300 supporters. The well-known Lebanese singer, Mr.Ghalib Antar, provided the entertainment. MAIC is extremely grateful to Mr and Mrs Abdullah Ismail for generously sponsoring the cost of the event.
During the evening, the donations of many generous supporters guaranteed the complete funding of an ICU for the Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Al-Tifl Al-Markazi, Baghdad. Additional sums were also kindly donated towards the partial funding of the consignment of medical supplies delivered this autumn. The auction and raffle both contributed towards raising the overall sum of £336,685.

o On 6th May 2000, MAIC took part in the Day for the People of Iraq held at Kensington Town Hall in London. The event was organised by the Maryam Appeal, a charity founded by Mr George Galloway MP, in conjunction with the Emergency Committee on Iraq and the Great Britain - Iraq Society. The British Fire Brigades Union and the Transport & General Workers Union sponsored the event. The aims of the day were to highlight the suffering of the Iraqi people under sanctions and to raise awareness of the rich and diverse culture within Iraq. Several distinguished speakers also gave talks such as Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday, both former UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq. MAIC had a stall at the event. We distributed leaflets in order to raise awareness of the Charity's work among the larger Arab and British community in the UK. The sum of £400 was also raised by MAIC through individual donations.

o On 26th October 2000, MAIC held a Bazaar/Tea function at the Hyatt Carlton Tower Hotel in London. The afternoon was attended by 115 ladies whose generosity ensured that the sum of £15,122 was raised on the day. The various stalls paticipating in the bazaar very kindly donated part of their sales proceeds to MAIC.

13 - 15 September, 2000

During my stay, I visited four major hospitals in Baghdad, accompanied by Dr Khalid Al-Obaydi, Dr Ihsan Al-Bahrani and Dr Hussain Malik, all members of MAIC's medical team in Iraq. Our main objectives were to view firsthand the proper usage and implementation of MAIC's donations as well as to find out about the existing problems and needs these hospitals are experiencing.

Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital
Medical City
13 September, 2000

At this hospital, the priority was to view the functioning of the newly installed 3-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) donated by MAIC earlier this year. There is currently one team of doctors and staff trained in its use; two more teams are being trained. The ICU is already operating: we saw a 3 month-old baby girl and a 40-day old baby boy using the ventilators during our visit. However, the ICU still needs air conditioning units; these may be sourced locally. The hospital is very grateful to have this ICU: it is a unique paediatric unit in Iraq at present.

The oncologist at the Cancer Unit reported the following statistics for this hospital:

No. of Paediatric Cancer Patients 1994-95 at
Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Medical City, Baghdad
New Cancer
Total Patients
Receiving Treatment
No. of
Source: Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Medical City, Baghdad

The above figures show a steady increase in the number of new cancer patients between 1994 and 1999. The number of deaths has almost doubled for the corresponding period. On the day of the visit, there were 25 in-patients. The majority were suffering from malignant diseases ranging from acute lymphoblastic luekaemia to myloid luekaemia, non-Hodgkins lymphoma and Burkitt's lymphoma.

At the Biochemistry Unit, we were shown the ABL615 Radiometer (a blood gas analyser) which was donated by MAIC in 1998. Many patients come from different parts of the country to the hospital for their tests as the machine is the only one of its kind operating in Iraq at present. The machine carries out 15 tests/day; a total of 6000 tests had been carried out in the eighteen months since delivery.

The Pharmacist cited the continuing need for anti-cancer drugs for both treatment and maintenance, third-generation antibiotics, dietary supplements, spare parts and reagents for blood tests among a long list of requirements. The hospital is among the seven recipient hospitals to benefit from the shipment of medicines sent by MAIC this November.

The Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital
Al-Tifl Al-Markazi
14 September, 2000

This hospital is awaiting delivery of the new MAIC 3-bed ICU which was totally funded by the generosity of MAIC supporters at this year's Annual Dinner. The existing ICU lacks most of the necessary equipment; one of only two functioning incubators had been previously donated by MAIC.
At the hospital's Cancer Unit (est. in 1979), the majority of children were suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. We also saw cases of myloid leukaemia and one child was suffering from rhabdomyo-sarcoma. The resident oncologist provided the following statistics:

- 1979 to 1991: 300 children registered at the unit
- 1991 to present: 1119 children registered during
this period. The number of children presenting with cancers has almost quadrupled since the end of the Gulf War. Leukaemia accounts for 70% of the cancer cases, followed by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Wilm's tumour (nephroblastoma) and nueroblastoma.

At the Emergency Unit, refurbished by the Spanish charity ADPL, most patients were suffering from gastroenteritis, asthma and respiratory problems.

In general discussions with the Chief Pharmacist, we were informed of the continual need for anti-cancer drugs and antibiotics. A chief complaint was that the recent supply of drugs from the UN 'Oil for Food' programme had very short expiry dates. In addition, delivery periods were mostly erratic. This last fact can have a very detrimental effect on the treatment of cancer patients who must receive regular medication during both the chemotherapy and maintenance stages. We also visited the hospital library which is in dire need of up-to-date medical textbooks and journals. The hospital is one of the recipients of MAIC's November 2000 shipment of medicines.

Al-Kadissiya General Hospital
Paediatric Section
15 September, 2000

It was encouraging to note a significant improvement in the general upkeep and cleanliness of this hospital since my last visit in October 1998.

At the Neonatal Unit, we saw a premature low-birth weight baby (1.7kg) in an incubator; another neonate was suffering from septicaemia and respiratory failure. A third neonate at the unit stopped breathing and needed urgent resuscitation during our visit. Unfortunately, the unit lacked many essential items such as paediatric laryngoscopes.

At the hospital's general Paediatric Unit, the children were mainly suffering from gastroenteritis, asthma and other common childhood illnesses.
I also viewed the hospital register for charitable donations with the Chief Pharmacist. Most of MAIC's December 1999 shipment of medicines had already been used up. The hospital will receive part of this November's medical donation.

Al-Karamah General Hospital, Paediatric Dept.
15 September, 2000

The actual hospital was undergoing re-building works which are being financed by a donation of $150,000 from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC is only financing the building work. The hospital has an obstetric and neonatal unit as well as a 60-bed paediatric unit.

We met with the Director of the Hospital and the paediatricians to discuss the needs of both their Neonatal and Paediatric Units. We were informed that the hospital is in particular need of new incubators, there are only 2 functional incubators at present, as well as neonatal resuscitator kits and surgical equipment.

As the hospital is the second largest centre in Iraq for the treatment of thalassaemia, after the one at Ibn Baladi Hospital, the needs of their Thalassaemia Unit were also discussed. They currently have around 650 registered patients compared with a figure of 250 patients during my previous visit in October 1998. To date, MAIC has delivered a total of 60 syringe driver sets for thalassaemia patients. The Charity will continue to send more sets so that each patient eventually has his/her own set.

Overall, I felt that this visit demonstrated the great effect that the kind and generous donations by MAIC's supporters are having in altering the lives and well-being of many Iraqi children. Yet, despite all this, it is still sad to note that the needs still outweigh the help being provided. However, I remain optimistic that the continued efforts of MAIC and other charities, combined with an early lifting of sanctions, God willing, will help to alleviate the suffering.

December 1999 - December 2000

In the past year, MAIC has delivered approximately £360,000 worth of medicines and medical equipment to hospitals in Iraq.

Table 1: Consignment of 3-Bed Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
Delivery Commencing on 31/10/2000

Total Value £115,000 approximately
Receiving Hospital: Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital Baghdad
- 2 x Evita 4 ventilators DRAGER Baghdad
- 1 x Cardiology 2000VI DRAGER
- 2 x Child & infant Resuscitator 2000
- 3 x Paediatric laryngoscopes DRAGER
- 3 x Bed-side monitors SIEMENS
- 1 x Multiview central workstation SIEMENS
- 4 x IVAC volumetric infusion pumps ALARIS
- 1 x Paediatric aerosol tent OHMEDA
- 1 x Reflotron 2000 analyser with printer
and reagents ROCHE
- 3 x Premier suction units LAERDAL
- 4 x MR10S dual-channel infant monitors
- Resuscitation equipment & specialised drugs
- 3 hospital bed

This ICU was sponsored by the generosity of the following donors: The Karim Rida Said Foundation KRSF (£22.045), The Ousseimi Foundation ($25.000), Mr Ali Jaidah, Mr and Mrs Jassim Jaidah, Mr and Mrs Abdul Aziz Shakashir, Mr and Mrs Zuhair Achour, Mrs Mazin Al-Daftari, Mr and Mrs Bishir Azem, Mrs Ahlam Akram, Mr and Mrs Wadood Gharbawi, Mr and Mrs Imad Haba, Mr Ali Al-Daftari, Mrs Jihad Tabbara as well as anonymous donors.

Table 2: Consignment of Medical Equipment
Delivered on 31/10/2000
Total Value £14,250
Receiving Hospital: Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital Baghdad
Neonatal Unit Baghdad

2 x Infant flow TM portable driver discs and accessories EME, Medical City, Baghad

The cost of this consignment was covered by MAIC from funds received through general donations and fundraising events.

Table 3: Consignment of Medical Supplies
Delivered on 2/11/2000

Total Value £231,000 approximately
Receiving Hospital: Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital Baghdad

- Third generation antibiotics Medical City, Baghdad
- Anti-cancer drugs - Central Paediatric Teaching
- Heart medicines Hospital, Al-Tifl Al-Markazi,
- Antiviral and antifungal medicines Baghdad
- Antihistamine, steroid and - Al-Kadissiya General Hospital,
asthma medicines Paediatric Dept., Baghdad
- Vitamins and minerals - Al-Karamah General Hospital,
- Surgical equipment Paediatric Dept., Baghdad
- Syringe driver sets for thalassaemia patients - Mosul Paediatric Teaching
- Infant formula milk Hospital, Mosul
- Hospital supplies (bedlinen, blankets) - Basra Paediatric Teaching
- Medical textbooks Hospital, Basra
- Secondhand medical journals - Al-Nassiriya Hospital, South

The cost of this consignment was partially funded by generous donations at the Annual Dinner from: Master Hamza Tayeb,
Ms. Maria and Ms. Karima Riachy, Mrs K. Van De Wetering, Mr and Mrs Bishsir Azem, Mrs Rita Palmieri, Mrs Mounir Attala, Mrs Hassan Smadi and The Egyptian Embassy in London. The balance was met from funds raised during the evening's auction and sale of raffle tickets, as well as through general donations throughout the year. The medical journals were kindly donated by Dr Heather Heatly and Mr Peter Fisher.


MAIC is currently working on the next consignment of medicines and medical equipment. The contents of this consignment will be based on a list of the particular needs of the hospitals visited by the Chairman in September 2000.

The list includes cancer drugs, third-generation antibiotics, surgical equipment, vitamins, antiviral medicines, syringe driver sets for thalassaemia patients, an additional supply of reagents for a Radiometer (a blood gas analyser previously donated by MAIC to Al-Mansour Paediatric Teaching Hospital) and medical textbooks and journals.

All donations will be most welcome in helping the Charity fund future consignments.


Board of Governors
Miss May Achour
Mrs Mazin Al-Daftari - Trustee & Chairman
Mrs Najwa Al-Nawab
Mr Hani Dajani - Trustee
Mrs H.R. Farman-Farmaian
Mr Hassan Haddad M.D.
Mrs Ali Khan
Mr Robert Mabro CBE - Trustee
Mr Sabah Mahmoud - Trustee & Treasurer
Mrs Charles Riachy - Trustee
Mrs David Sambar
Mrs Fatima Sheikh Khazaal - Trustee
Dr Raghdah Shukri M.D.
Mr Bassam Zako

Honorary Members
Mrs Wajih Al-Kaylani
Lady Beaumont
Prince Sixte de Bourbon-Parme
Prince de Chimay
Mr Nezar Haba M.D.
Mrs Abdullah Ismail
Mr Bruce Mathalone M.D.
Mr Abdul Karim Moudaris
Professor Edward Said
Mrs Hassan Smadi
Mrs Nezhat Tayeb
Lady Tooley
Mr Graham Walker M.D.

Medical Team in Iraq
Dr Jawad Khadem Al-Ali M.D.
Dr Ihasan Al-Bahrani M.D.
Mr Khalid Al-Obaydi M.D.
Dr Adel Al-Rawi M.D.
Dr Omar Al-Yaqubi M.D.
Dr Hussam Charmougli M.D.
Dr Hussain Malik M.D.

Jordanian Liaison Committee
Dr Zafer Al-Kayyali M.D.
Mrs Mounir Attalah
Dr Salwan Baban M.D.
Dr Hala Fattah
Dr Junaid Mahmoud M.D.
Dr Layla Sharaf
Mrs Hassan Shukri

Support Committee
Mrs Raghad Alani
Mrs Yassine Bouhara
Mrs Wadood Gharbawi



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