A CONSULTANT anaesthetist is taking the latest keyhole surgical techniques to his native Iraq.
Dr Moayed Aziz, who works at Prince Charles Hospital, in Merthyr Tydfil, has organised a week-long training course in basic and advanced laparoscopic surgery skills for 170 Iraqi doctors.
The course will be held in the northern city of Erbil – the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan – and will see experts from around the UK, including leading colorectal laparoscopic surgeon Professor PN Haray, provide training sessions.
Dr Aziz said: “Iraq has gone through some very difficult times over the last 25 years – there have been many problems, including in medicine.
“Since 2003 there has been great investment in infrastructure, in hospitals and in equipment but the training has not been easy because many people still do not feel safe.
“I went back to Iraq last year to take part in a conference about emergency medicine where I thought I might be able to help, with the support of my colleagues at Prince Charles Hospital and across the UK.”
Dr Aziz, who is the current president of the Iraqi Medical Society International, organised the week-long training course with the help of the Welsh Institute for Minimal Access Therapy, attracting experts from across the UK.
The 170 Iraqi doctors who have signed up for the training, which takes place next week, will be taught basic keyhole surgical techniques before completing a series of advanced surgical seminars.
Prof Haray, a consultant colorectal surgeon at Prince Charles Hospital, who will lead some of the advanced laparoscopic skills sessions, said: “I am looking forward to being involved in this course as there’s an element of unusualness about – it will be very different to running courses in Europe, which I do regularly.”
Dr Aziz added: “This is a chance to give something back to my country. It’s also a great opportunity and my colleagues in Iraq are very keen to learn these skills.”