February 23rd, 2021 ― Doha: In the training room at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital of Gaza, Dr. Amal Abu Kirsh stood among her colleagues as they were attending the endoscopy training funded by Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), to discuss the outcomes of the training day, in which they learnt about the main equipment of endoscopy. “I attended the training to join the Palestinian Board in surgery after my graduation from the school of medicine,” said Dr. Abu Kirsh. “Frankly, I acquired new skills, such as using the latest equipment and techniques of endoscopy”. She added that the training would make her able to perform endoscopic procedures and comply with international medical protocols when taking care of the patients.
Under this $60,000 program, 60 physicians were divided into six groups to enhance their skills in endoscopy. It is part of QRCS’s project to support specialist surgery services in Gaza.
Regarding the stages of training, Dr. Sobhi Skeik, endoscopy trainer at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, indicated that, for the past 30 years, endoscopy was utilized in such specialties like cardiothoracic, laparoscopic, cardiovascular, and arthroscopic surgery, ensuring minimally invasive insertion.
“At the training center, we have four stages of training,” explained Dr. Skeik. “There is the theoretical background, followed by training simulation in which the trainees are introduced to ways of dissection, cutting, relocation, stitching, and attachment in the interior of the body. Then, a biological training simulation is done, by applying the procedures to turkeys, as they are physically similar to human muscles and tissues”.
In the fourth stage, the interns are engaged in surgical operations to watch and learn, and they observe the patients at the department. According to him, the local medical education curricula lack such practical aspects of endoscopy. In his point of view, this advanced training would improve the capabilities of graduate physicians, qualifying them to adopt modern methodologies and guidelines of endoscopy.
QRCS pays attention to the capacity-building of Gaza’s medical professionals. In addition to the Gaza Surgical Services Support project, it enhances surgical specialties like cardiothoracic surgery, cardiovascular surgery, and urology. Also, it sponsors postgraduate programs, including Master of Health Policies and Management and Diploma of Anesthesia and ICU. Last, it supports the treatment of patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). The overall budget for these activities is $1.4 million.
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About Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS)
Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is a humanitarian volunteering organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.
QRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 191 National Societies. QRCS is also a member of several GCC, Arab, and Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO). In this legally recognized capacity, QRCS has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts — a role that distinguishes it from other local charities and NGOs.
QRCS operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRCS's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRCS provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRCS aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.
QRCS works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.