DUBAI — Members of the Little Wings Foundation, a Dubai-based charity, and specialists mobilised by it, are leaving for Gaza on Thursday to conduct a surgical mission to treat children with musculoskeletal deformities.
Three specialists who have flown in from Sweden, Germany and the United States especially for the mission will join the team of four foundation members who will travel from Dubai.
The non-profit organisation is dedicated to providing medical assistance to children with musculoskeletal deformities living in the Middle East and North Africa. It has carried out four previous surgical missions in Palestine working in conjunction with the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund.
According to Dr Marc Sinclair, founder of the charity, “We have travelled to the West Bank previously, and had always hoped to travel to Gaza as we know there are many children in need of attention. Gaining permission has been a very difficult procedure and we are extremely thankful to the World Health Organisation for assisting us.”
The mission which will be based in a Red Crescent Hospital in Gaza City will organise a one-day screening clinic where it is estimated that 100-150 children from throughout the city will be seen. Assessments of the children will be made and the most urgent cases will be operated on in the following five days.
The majority of cases will consist of hip dysplasia, clubfoot and badly treated fractures. Due to the war, it is also expected that a large percentage of cases will also be trauma-related. Patients whose case are deemed extremely complicated to operate on in the hospital will then be brought to Dubai orsent to Switzerland for further treatment.
“Not having been to Gaza before, we are unsure what to expect but know that conditions are not ideal for performing complicated surgeries and realise that many doctors may lack the knowledge and skills to identify and treat some of these deformities,” said Sinclair.
The Little Wings Foundation had applied previously for entry permits into Gaza but had been refused. The members will fly first to Jordan and cross into the West Bank travelling overland to the Eretz Crossing and into Gaza on Friday.
They are carrying 400kg of baggage containing medicines, surgical instruments, surgical drapes and other medical material. The mission will donate all medical material to the hospital that is left unused, which will be of great benefit as resources within the Gaza are extremely scarce.