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Mon 1 Jan 2007 02:30 PM

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Expert advice for Iraq medics

Doctors from Iraq and the Middle East are benefiting from the skills of an expert consultant from the UK's Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Doctors from Iraq and the Middle East are benefiting from the skills of an expert consultant from the UK's Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Dr Alistair Thomson, a consultant paediatrician from Leighton Hospital, visited Jordan as part of an initiative to share learning. The visit, which aimed to broaden the teaching and resuscitation skills of Iraqi paediatricians, saw doctors from across Iraq, the West Bank and Jordan travel to the capital, Amman, for the one-week course sponsored by the British Council and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The Royal College agreed to use its resources to help overseas doctors who often have to work without the support of colleagues, and Dr Thomson said Iraq was an obvious choice. He said: "It used to have a good standard of healthcare, comparable to developed countries, but this has slipped back during the years of Saddam Hussein's rule.

"Many Iraqi paediatricians now work under very difficult conditions. Some have been threatened with violence or seen their colleagues intimidated, but they remain keen to learn up-to-date skills in teaching and in resuscitation of critically ill children."

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