Surgeons set for return trip to teach Palestinians
Two Truro-based surgeons will soon be heading back to one of the world's trouble spots to help teach trainee doctors.
Robin and Magdalena Kincaid, who work at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, will be travelling to East Jerusalem with their three young children later this spring, as part of a team teaching a basic surgical skills course.
Mr Kincaid said they hoped to raise £2,000 ahead of the trip to buy equipment which was vital for trainee surgeons who work in such a difficult area.
He said that on their last trip there, shortages meant he had to fashion dissecting boards from wooden kitchen cutting boards.
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"It is things like dissecting kits which are needed," said Mr Kincaid. "It makes so much difference to how we can train them and how they can work. It is just essential equipment you cannot get there."
Over the course of three days, the team volunteer their time and services to the Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.
The aim of the course is to teach safe fundamental surgical skills including suturing and vein patches to Palestinian surgical trainees.
It is hoped that this will empower Palestinian surgeons from the West Bank and Gaza to tackle emergency cases which would otherwise be delayed in transit to larger hospitals due to roadblocks and checkpoints.
On the Mount of Olives, the team manage to provide 20 practical sessions in 48 hours with all 20 participants required to pass each section.
Mr Kincaid said: "The course offers the trainees their first structured journey into professional life. One of our challenges is always making sure we have enough equipment and everyone has the same as the demonstrator."
Mrs Kincaid said the conditions were very different in the Middle east. "In previous years, the candidates have been curious about the animal tissue as it is a novelty in the Middle East where most work directly on injured people."
Also making the trip will be the Kincaids' three children; James, 11, Una, 9, and Calum, 5, who will be attending the Anglican International School in Jerusalem while their parents are teaching.
Mrs Kincaid said they had made many friends there and enjoyed the trip.
"The children always go and we all stay in the hospital's guesthouse.
"The kids love it and are so pleased to get back to the school and catch up with all their friends from last year! It's a wonderful life experience for them."
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