Newsletter 2007

Issue number 13 Autumn 2007Download the Adobe PDF version of the newsletter

FOREWORD FROM THE CHAIRMAN
May Al-Daftari

I hope that 2008 will bring more peaceful times and normality to the lives of the Iraqi people.

The last few months in 2007 have shown some improvement in security, a decline in violence and a fall in the number of people killed per month. Unfortunately statistics published by the Red Cross and Red Crescent for 2007 indicate that Iraq is still going through a humanitarian crisis and that children are severely affected. The Iraqi child and maternal mortality rates rank among the highest in the world.

The healthcare system continues to lack basic medical supplies as well as services. Doctors and hospital staff have been fleeing Iraq due to the state of violence that has enveloped the country. Thousands of others have been killed and hundreds kidnapped since 2003.

Despite security problems in Iraq, MAIC managed to send medical aid to paediatric hospitals in excess of £300,000 in 2007. Our supplies included medicines, diagnostic equipment, surgical items and material for artificial limbs clinics. These urgently needed items were delivered to five hospitals and a medical institution; Mosul Blood Bank, Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital, Falluja General Hospital and Basrah Prosthetic Centre.

We also offered one month’s training to two oncologists from Iraq at the Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. The feedback from both the hospital and the doctors regarding their training were excellent. One of the oncologists stated in his report that the exposure to current practice in the UK gave them confidence in the work they are doing in Baghdad and encouraged them to incorporate recent medical advances into their practice.

On a happy note, four young patients from the oncologist department of the Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital won prizes in the 2007 Drawing Competition organised by the Karim Rida Said Foundation. We are most grateful to the Foundation for offering the patients the chance to participate in this fun and creative competition.

On behalf of MAIC’s board members and myself I wish to thank all donors and supporters for their concern for Iraqi children and their valued contribution to our humanitarian projects.

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful year to come.

An 8 year old cancer patient at the Children's Welfare Teaching Hospital in Baghdad receiving her prizes for the KRSF Drawing Competition, July 2007.

REVIEW OF FUNDRAISING EVENTS
DECEMBER 2006 - DECEMBER 2007

• On Sunday 16th September 2007 MAIC held its annual Iftar at Noura Restaurant, Belgravia. We would like to express our gratitude to all our supporters and 115 guests who attended in helping us raise £26,582.97 through donations, ticket and raffle sales. Special
thanks and appreciation go to Mr. and Mrs Abdullah Ismail for generously sponsoring the Iftar.

• On Sunday 30th September five volunteers participated in the annual BUPA Great North Run to raise funds in excess of £4,500 to date. We would like to thank and congratulate all the runners on their excellent effort.

• We are also very grateful to all MAIC supporters who have held various events throughout the year and raised a total of £64,024.45.

UPDATE OF MEDICAL DELIVERIES TO PAEDIATRIC HOSPITALS IN IRAQ 2007

Table 1: Medical supplies delivered in March 2007

Total Value

Contents
Receiving Hospital
£25,621.00

13,500 blood bags and 1 centrifuge machine.

Mosul Blood Bank

*Transportation and delivery costs totalled £2,445. The above items and transportation costs were sponsored through the generosity of Exotix / ICAP.

Table 2: Medical supplies delivered in May 2007

Total Value

Contents
Receiving Hospitals
£65,753 1 Fluoroscopy machine Central Paediatric Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Radiology Department

The above item was sponsored through the generosity of the City of London School for Girls, the Ousseimi Foundation, Fawziya Juffali, anonymous donors, Just Giving donations including: Wassef Haroun, Catherine Monahon, Robert Matthews, Reading Quakers, Dr. Salim Shubber, David Hewes, Matthew Fleming and Tom Volscho, Reverend J. Stephenson’s book sales & parishioners including: A. Edge, C. Simmons, D. Sheldon, V. Gardner, A. Harkess, Y. Clarke, D. Scott, Reverend Gofton, L. Cook, Ian Davidson, J. Witney, Mr Vaughan, J. Taylor, J&K Foster, Mr Eggleston, B.D. Edney, Reveredn Partridge, Mr Winstanley, Mr Nesbitt, P. Dransfield, B. McDade and B. Rodgers, and CAF donations including: Justin Alexander, Yokwah Tai, W.J. Corum, C. Rennie, Eleanor Grace, Harry Gilliat Warner and Richard Storey.,

Table 3: One years supplement for one patient delivered in July 2007

Total Value

Contents
Receiving Hospitals
£5,134 XP Maxamum Powder Marwan Bashir

The above item was sponsored through the generosity of Great North Run participants: Layla Bunni, Ali Joudi, Shiv Chopra, Toufic Machnouk and Wasim Ukra, Christine Wood, H. Ben-Gaecem, Wadad Mufti, Dr. Najla Hamade, Cairnstone Limited, Dr. William Macrae, S. Fateh and Naveed Soomro.

Table 4a: Medical supplies delivered in November 2007

Total Value

Contents
Receiving Hospitals
£40,074.79

Medicines including anti-cancer drugs, infant milk powder and anti-epilepsy drugs.

Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital, Baghdad

The above items were sponsored through the generosity of the Karim Rida Said Foundation (KRSF), Joyce Yarrow benefit concert, Maysa Ibrahim’s Iftar, I&IXDU, Imperial College Fitness Society - “The Great Escape Run,” Dajani Pharmacy collection, Mohammed Aldiwani - Great Manchester Run, Justin & Emily Southcombe wedding donations, H. Khaireldin, Kate Targett and Maureen Wilsker - “Peace Shirts,” Tanya Tier -“Birds of War” art exhibition, Norwich Peace Council - “Peace Poppies,” Matthew Riddell-10k Run, Sally Cocksedge’s Garden Party, Kings College Iraqi Society Dinner, Lanai Collis 6th birthday
donations, Faringdon Quakers, Constance Burrough - Christmas card sales, Hastings Stop the War concert, Gavin Purdon’s retirement collection, Walsall Council of Continuing Education, L. Lewis, C. Wright - in memory of Edna Foster-Brown, Jennifer Ridley an. Katy Fattuhi. Balance paid by MAIC.

Table 4b: Medical supplies delivered in December 2007

Total Value

Contents
Receiving Hospitals
£86,618.60

Paediatric laparoscopic Instruments, 3 paediatric laparotomy sets and other surgical equipment.

Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital, Baghdad

The above items were sponsored through the generosity of an anonymous corporate donor, Mariam Askari, Ali Jaidah, Laila Al-Qattan, Doris Riachy, Dr. R. Dallou and May Al-Daftari. Balance paid by MAIC.

Table 4c: Medical supplies delivered in December 2007

Total Value

Contents
Receiving Hospitals
£52,749.80

Urgent supplies including prosthetic
feet, suspension belts and a vacuum forming-machine

Basrah Prosthetic Centre

The above items were sponsored through the generosity of donors towards MAIC’s Iftar which included Randa Smadi, Ben Halim, Latifa Kosta, Omaya Lowzi, R. Sammakieh and Hamid Larezadeh. Balance paid by MAIC.

Table 4d: Medical supplies delivered in December 2007

Total Value

Contents
Receiving Hospitals
£30,065

Drugs, wheelchairs, surgical and diagnostic equipment

Falluja General Hospital

The above items were sponsored through the generosity of May Sadawi, V. Omari ,Khalida Habbas and standing order donors: A.S. Qaddoumi, Gordon Winter, DM & MF Wright, Dr. David Cromwell, Reverend Jeremy Chadd, A. Taylor, A.A. Mckennley-Ballan, M. Burgui Artajo, C.A. Rogers, Sophia Cheema, Janan Kassir, R.S. Cowper, E. Shackle, R. Livingstone, M. D’Souza, Ban Ibrahim and Mrs Hopkins. Balance paid by MAIC.


IRAQ’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM: HOPE OR DESPAIR?
by Dr. Maya Al-Memar

Iraq’s healthcare system, once viewed as one of the best in the Middle East with extensive and well developed primary, secondary and tertiary facilities, has been stretched to its limits. After 10 years of UN sanctions, war and ongoing violence in the current climate of political instability, the healthcare system continues to struggle, which led to Dr. Waleed
George, chief surgeon at Al Sadoon Hospital in Baghdad to describe it as “the worst healthcare system Iraq has ever known.” (Medact Iraqi Health Update 2006)

Some progress has been described; Immunization campaigns sponsored by the UN and US have resulted in MMR and polio vaccinations for 5 million and 3 million Iraqi children, respectively. Unfortunately, despite these numbers, a UNICEF study published in April 2007 found that immunization rates are declining due to lack of access to primary
healthcare facilities. The report states, “About half of Iraq’s districts (60 out of 116) are reporting immunization coverage of less then 80 per cent.” (Medact Iraqi Health Update 2006)

Iraq is suffering from a humanitarian crisis, with children, as the most vulnerable members of society, continuing to be hit the hardest. A UN-IRIN (UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Integrated Regional Information Networks) report in May 2007 showed that there has been a 150% increase in mortality rate of Iraqi children since 1990; child mortality in under 5 year olds is currently 125 per 1,000 live births, where in 1990 it was 50 per 1,000. In comparison, the child mortality rate for the Middle East and North Africa region is 53 per 1,000. Other health indicators used to assess the quality of health in countries are equally bleak; maternal mortality ratio is 294 per 100,000 live births while for the Middle East and North Africa region it is 183 per 100,000. It has been shown that 30% of mortality in children under 5 is due to pneumonia and diarrhoeal disease in Iraq
(UN-IRIN May 2007).

Child malnutrition rates have increased from 19% before 2003 to 26% now. Combined with poor sanitation, the fact that 43% of Iraqis live in absolute poverty and that Iraq’s exclusive breastfeeding rates are low at 12%, altogether increasing children’s susceptibility to disease and illness and further propagating the spread of infectious diseases (‘Rising to
the humanitarian challenge in Iraq’, Oxfam July 2007). Child malnutrition in itself also affects recovery from disease.

AUNICEF report also highlighted how children are not only suffering physically, but also emotionally and mentally from the stress and trauma of growing up in a conflict zone. 70% of Iraqi children have been shown to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (Report on the Situation of Children in Iraq, April 2007). This has all been recently highlighted in a report, ‘Rising to the humanitarian challenge in Iraq’, published by Oxfam in July 2007. The report added how 92% of children are also showing learning difficulties.

The report also addressed some of the exacerbating factors that have added to the deterioration in the provision of healthcare services in Iraq. Concerns about security and ongoing violence have had a multifaceted effect, with healthcare professionals unable to attend work or even being forced to flee the country. The exodus of doctors and hospital
staff has led to a collapse in basic services. A study of the humanitarian conditions in Iraq by the Red Cross and Red Crescent states that approximately 2000 medical personnel have been killed, 12000 have fled and 250 have been kidnapped since 2003 (ISRCRC: Final report: Emergency Appeal November 2005-January 2007; issued April 2007). The exodus of medical personnel has had a devastating effect on the Iraqi health sector. Hospitals are
understaffed and inexperienced medical residents undertake operations and procedures they are not qualified to perform.

Conflict has also made it difficult for patients to access healthcare. Dr Mazin Al-Jadiry, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital in Baghdad, who in June 2007 undertook training at the Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool as part of MAIC’s training program, was able to give us an insight into this. He described how families would often abandon further treatment of their children with cancer due to fear of reaching
the hospital safely, as well as severe poverty and being unable to afford the treatment.

The issue of security has also made it difficult to provide humanitarian assistance and also affects the distribution of medical supplies.

Dr Al-Jadiry described the difficulties in providing basic healthcare with limited resources and in unsanitary conditions with poor infection control measures. Basic medical supplies are unavailable. Until 2006, invasive painful procedures, such as lumbar punctures, were carried out without anaesthetic. MAIC donated local anaesthetic to the hospital,which Dr Al-Jadiry reports has made a significant difference. Storage of medical supplies is difficult
due to lack of functioning refrigerators and chilling rooms. Lack of basic equipment, such as centrifuges used to process blood test results and reagents needed for this, also affects delivery of healthcare. At the Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital, one x-ray machine, manufactured in 1979 and since repaired, is available. No computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or other diagnostic imaging is available.

A 13 year old amputee at the Basrah Prosthetic Centre, August 2007.

Dr Al-Jadiry also described the very low staff to patient ratio, which ideally should be one doctor for every 30 new patients. Currently only one doctor is available for every 125 new patients. This makes it difficult to deliver good clinical care, and provide the emotional support often needed by children. In the face of these difficulties, recognising the importance of play for children, the hospital team organised a number of social activities for children in the hospital, for example, a drawing competition funded by the KRSF through MAIC.

MAIC continues in its aims to assist in improving the health of children by sending much needed medical supplies and equipment. The exodus of doctors has highlighted the need for further training of health professionals working hard in Iraq. MAIC hopes to continue its training program to update and improve practice whilst also helping to minimise the potential of further intellectual isolation of Iraqi health professionals.

Despite our ongoing struggle in these endeavours, the main obstacle to improving health service in Iraq remains the issue of security. Despite their personal experiences of the current difficulties, Iraqi doctors in Iraq, like Dr Al-Jadiry, remain optimistic and motivated to make change. Through hard work and determination, MAIC will continue to assist these professionals in their noble efforts.

GROWING PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR MAIC

MAIC wishes to thank all foundations, organisations, companies, fundraisers and individuals, who have so generously donated their time and resources to MAIC. The following is a list of organisers who have held fundraising events since January 2007.

Parochial Church Council of Ashington for their kind collection made at the wedding of Mr. & Mrs Colin Parker. (Donation made in December 2006 and not included in last years newsletter list)

Parish of St. Peter & St. Paul Dover for their generous gift from the congregation. (Donation made in December 2006 and not included in last years newsletter list)

Mrs Jennifer Ridley for kindly donating funds in lieu of a Christmas present for her daughter.

The students of the City of London School for Girls for their generous and valued effort in raising generous funds for MAIC through their Appeal Fund

Miss Maysa Ibrahim for her valued effort in raising funds from ticket sales and donations from a fundraising Iftar.

Dajani Pharmacy and especially Mrs Hikmat Sabra for their kind effort in collecting donations in the pharmacy.

Norwich Peace Council for generously raising funds by selling Peace Poppies.

Exotix Ltd/ICAP plc for their generous and substantial donation raised during their annual Charity Day.

Miss Constance Burrough for her valued effort in raising funds through selling homemade Christmas cards.

I&IXDU (Iraq & International Stop Depleted Uranium) for generously supporting MAIC by raising funds from the sale of art work.

Hastings Stop the War for kindly donating funds raised through a collection made at a meeting.

Miss Katy Fattuhi for kindly donating funds in lieu of a wedding gift

Ms Joyce Yarrow for her kind effort in organising a concert in Seattle and collecting substantial funds.

Miss Lanai Collis (pictured) for her appreciated concern for Iraqi children and forgoing
her 6th birthday gifts and donating instead to MAIC.

Mrs C Wright for kindly sending a donation in memory of her son’s grandmother

Mr. Mohammed Tahir for generously raising funds by organising an Iraqi Society Dinner

Ms Tania Tier for kindly holding an art exhibition and collecting generous funds for MAIC

CSCI for kindly sending a donation raised through a retirement collection for Mr. Gavin Purdon

Ms Kate Targett and Ms Maureen Wilsker for kindly donating through designing and selling ‘PShirts’

Ms Sally Cocksedge for her kind effort in holding a garden party and raising generous funds for MAIC

The members of Imperial College Clubs and Societies for their valued effort in holding the Great Escape Run and raising generous funds for MAIC.

Mrs L Lewis for kindly donating funds to MAIC

Farringdon Quakers for kindly raising funds from a collection at their meetings over July & August 2007

Mr. Matthew Riddell for his kind effort in completing a 10k run in support of the charity.

The Islamic Society of Nottingham & Trent University for kindly holding a collection in support of MAIC.

Dr. Hibah Osman for kindly raising funds for MAIC in lieu of gifts for her new born son Siraj Christopher Batley.

Mr. & Mrs J Southcombe for their valued gesture in forgoing their wedding gifts and asking friends to donate instead to MAIC.

Mr. M Aldiwani for his appreciated effort in raising substantial funds by completing the Great Manchester Run.

Mr. Ali Joudi for his appreciated effort in raising substantial funds by completing the BUPA Great North Run.

Miss Layla Bunni for her appreciated effort in raising substantial funds by completing the BUPA Great North Run.

Mr. Shiv Chopra for his appreciated effort in raising substantial funds by completing the BUPA Great North Run.

Mr. Toufic Machnouk for his appreciated effort in raising substantial funds by completing the BUPA Great North Run.

Mr. Wasim Ukra for his appreciated effort in raising substantial funds by completing the BUPA Great North Run.

TAX RELIEF

Giving through the Self-Assessment Returns
Medical Aid for Iraqi Children (MAIC) is listed on the Inland Revenue website for donations. If you use the Self-Assessment returns system and wish to donate to MAIC, please use MAIC’s following code number EAR14QG.


GIFT AID

 

ANNUAL BUPA GREAT NORTH RUN

After the continuing success in fundraising by our runners over the last two years, MAIC entered five runners to participate in the BUPA Great North Run 2007. MAIC is proud to announce that our runners, Ms Layla Bunni, running for the second time in aid of MAIC, Mr. Shiv Chopra, Mr. Ali Joudi, Mr. Toufic Machnouk and Mr. Wasim Ukra, completed the run which was held on Sunday 30th September 2007. As always, the gruelling 13.1 mile course, which begins in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and ends in South Shields on the coast, proved to be a great challenge for our runners. Mr. Shiv Chopra described how he made it through with the help of his ipod and was able to finish the race with an excellent time of 1 hour 55 minutes. He now plans to run the Silverstone Marathon, early in 2008, in aid of MAIC.

MAIC is extremely grateful to our runners, who in total raised over £4,500.

If you are interested in running the BUPA Great North Run in September 2008, please contact Maya Al-Memar at: info@maic.org.uk.


IN THE PIPELINE

MAIC is in the process of compiling its next shipment of medical supplies for paediatric hospitals in Iraq. We have already received requests for several urgently needed items from two hospitals.

Forthcoming consignments for 2008 will include and are not limited to the following:

• A 2 channel EMG & NCS machine and raw materials for splints for the prosthesis workshop of Al-Wasiti Hospital, Baghdad.

The workshop at Al-Wasiti is in urgent need of raw materials for plastic splints and an EMG & NCS device which is used for the diagnoses of disorders of the nerves and muscles. We have received a quotation for materials for splints to the value of £22,555.00 and are looking for a supplier of the machine.

Tympanic thermometers and peripheral long line cannulas for the Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital, Baghdad.

Dr. Mazin Al-Jadiry, paediatric oncologist at the hospital, requested these items after using them during his short training program at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. Dr. Al-Jadiry feels that these items will help to solve many problems in the treatment of children in their oncology unit. We have obtained a quotation for these items to the value of £5,747.00.

Hgb Lyse Reagent for haematology analyser, Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital, Baghdad.

We were unable to send this type of reagent, valued at £1,833.60, with the shipment of other reagents to the Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital in 2007 as it requires a special import authorisation from the USA. Therefore it will be sent with MAIC’s next shipment instead. The hospital is suffering from great shortages of reagents for its blood machines.

Other medical requests are under consideration.

Training program for Iraqi doctors.

In addition to providing medical supplies, MAIC is continuing with its successful training program for Iraqi doctors. We are hoping to find placements for 2-3 doctors during 2008 at UK hospitals.

If you wish to sponsor or make a donation to any of our medical projects for 2008 we would be most grateful.


HOW TO HELP


MAIC MEMBERS

Board of Governors
Mrs Rula Al-Chorbachi
Mrs Mazin Al-Daftari - Trustee
Dr. Maya Al-Memar M.D.
Mr. Hani Dajani - Trustee
Mr. Hassan Haddad M.D.
Ms Maysa Ibrahim
Mrs Aboudi Kosta
Mrs Ali Khan
Mr. Robert Mabro CBE - Trustee
Mr. Sabah Mahmoud - Trustee
Mrs Charles Riachy - Trustee
Ms Danah Saadawi
Mrs David Sambar
Mrs Fatima Sheikh Khazaal - Trustee
Mr. Bassam Zaku
Mrs May Zaku

Honorary Members
Mrs Wajih Al-Kaylani
Mrs Mashal Al-Nawab
Lady Beaumont
Prince Sixte de Bourbon-Parme
Mrs H.R. Farman-Farmaian
Mrs Imad Habba
Mrs Abdullah Isamil
Mr. Bruce Mathalone M.D.
Mr. Abdul Karim Moudaris
Dr. Raghdah Shukri M.D.
Mrs Hassan Smadi
Reverend John Stephenson
Mrs Nezhat Tayeb
Mr. Graham Walker M.D.
Dr. Ihsan Al-Bahrani M.D.
Mr. Khalid Al-Obaydi M.D.
Dr. Hussain Malik M.D.

Medical Team in Iraq
Mr. Jawad Khadem Al-Ali M.D.
Dr. Adel Al-Rawi M.D.
Dr. Omar Al-Yaqubi M.D.
Dr. Mazin Al-Jadiry M.D.

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

Support Committee
Ms Maya Askari
Ms Sabia Mayassi
Ms Suha Najjar
Mrs Sara Tayeb Khalifa

 
 


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