Burn Care in the Palestinian Territories: Supporting Staff in Hebron and Nablus (July 2017)
Dr Sian Falder, Interburns Trustee, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Clinical Lead of Burn Service, Director of Clinical Effectiveness and Service Transformation, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
As part of an ongoing partnership with Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), a team from Interburns visited the West Bank for the third time. Interburns is the International Network of Training, Education and Research in Burns and has been supporting the development of Palestinian burn care in collaboration with MAP and the local hospital teams. Sian Falder (burn and plastic surgery consultant), Danni Mehrez (burn nurse) and Ruthann Fanstone (burn therapist) visited Alia Hospital in Hebron and Rafidia Hospital in Nablus to work closely with local staff.
At Alia Hospital in Hebron, MAP has supported the build of a new purpose-designed burn unit which is fully equipped and almost ready to open. Interburns has provided burn training for the staff including fellowships for the two surgeons at the Interburns Training Centre in India, advanced burn training for two of the nurses in Bangladesh and support for the therapists. On this visit, the team discussed practical aspects of running a burn unit, reviewed facilities and equipment, and discussed the service’s final preparations before the first patient arrives in the next few weeks.
The burn unit in Rafidia Hospital in Nablus has been in operation for the last nine years. Here, the Interburns group worked with Dr Anas and his team, reviewing care protocols and discussing training and development for burns in the West Bank. The Interburns Essential Burn Care course is currently being delivered weekly by local trainers, following a ‘Training of Trainers’ in Ramallah in December 2016, with the plan to train 3000 healthcare staff in the essentials of burn care.
The team were met with extreme courtesy and great friendliness throughout their visit, as is always the case when visiting the West Bank. Progress has been made over the last few months and the new unit in Hebron is ready to open. The team looks forward to further collaboration with both units in order to provide the best possible care for Palestinian burn patients.
Interburns would like to thank Sian, RuthAnn and Danni for giving their time for this visit, and our partners MAP for kindly funding the cost of the team’s trip.