Benenden consultant provides medical help in Iraq
6th January 2015
A Benenden Hospital consultant has just returned from a trip to Iraq where he worked as part of a medical team at an international religious festival.
Mr Faiyaz Kapasi was one of the medics working with International Medical Mission at the Procession of Arabaeen, a march of Shiite Muslims in Iraq, which this year was attended by more than 20 million people.
Part of Mr Kapasi's trip was paid for by way of a travelling fellowship provided by Benenden Health and Benenden Hospital. Any member of staff can apply to the fellowship for a project which would lead to personal or professional development.
Mr Kapasi said: “The areas where we worked were very well protected and there was heavy security. We were away from the areas most affected by Islamic State but we were still in sensitive places.
“Although I am a urologist I basically acted as a general practitioner while there, running a clinic for those who needed medical help and working 24 hour shifts, so it was very challenging.
“Some people had walked for days to attend and were suffering from dehydration or exhaustion. Others, who could not afford hotels along the way, had slept rough. I treated a wide range of issues. There were people who had collapsed and needed to be made stable before being transferred to local hospitals. There were others with uncontrolled diabetes, asthma, gastro intestinal problems or upper respiratory problems.
“I found the experience very rewarding and I would like to do something like this again.”
Mr Kapasi added: "I have attended similar events in the past, but this was my biggest challenge, with the current situation over in Iraq. I wanted to take part to give something back to the community, to people who do not have access to advanced medical facilities. This is what motivated me.
"I'm very grateful to Benenden for supporting my trip and I was very pleased and honoured to win the travelling fellowship."