Newcastle Gateshead Medical Volunteers and Nechirvan Health Aid Office, Kurdistan, Iraq
Newcastle Gateshead Medical Volunteers (NGMV) is a voluntary organisation which was founded by a group of healthcare professionals from the North east of England including orthopaedic surgeons, doctors, anaesthetists, nursing staff and physiotherapists. The charity coordinates regular visits throughout the year to the Kurdistan region of Iraq to provide a voluntary orthopaedic service and healthcare education to local people. Since 2010 NGMV has organized 11 trips to Kurdistan, facilitating the travel of more than 70 of its UK members to visit Erbil and Sulaymania.
The charity has so far performed more than 300 intermediate and major orthopaedic procedures and has seen and treated nearly 2000 patients. In addition to clinical work, the charity has arranged formal and informal education for medical and paramedical staff in Iraq by inviting very high profile educationalists, such as Professor Graf from Austria, Dr Sally Scott from the UK and Professor Omer Bilgen from Turkey, as well as other acclaimed surgeons and doctors, to teach in Erbil and Suliamanya. The healthcare professionals involved in the link have played a crucial role in raising the standard of healthcare at the hospitals they have worked in, in Kurdistan. From the UK, the charity has been working very closely with the Iraqi Prime Minister’s organisation, Nechirvan Health Aid Office, to provide humanitarian support to help build the lives of thousands of people affected by war.