Vale course is cancer life­line

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Carla Tal­bot

Pales­tinian nurses who have never left their home coun­try trav­elled to Alexan­dria re­cently to find out more about pi­o­neer­ing cancer treat­ments.

On­col­ogy nurse Gerry O’Hare, who is based at the Vale of Leven Hos­pi­tal, was in­stru­men­tal in set­ting up the post-grad­u­ate diploma with the Univer­sity of Bethlehem.

And four nurses from Pales­tine made the trip over here to learn vi­tal skills they will use in their ca­reers.

For some of the stu­dents it was the first time they had ever left their home coun­try and the trip saw them spend their time at the Alexan­dria hos­pi­tal learn­ing from Gerry.

He has spent years work­ing with the Univer­sity of Bethlehem on the grant pro­gramme and had a lead­ing role in de­vel­op­ing the cur­ricu­lum of the diploma.

The 55-year-old has been a fun­da­men­tal part of the ef­forts to ed­u­cate nurses who have se­verely limited ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion ma­te­ri­als.

He re­turned to Pales­tine on a num­ber of vis­its to the univer­sity in the lead-up to the launch of the diploma last year.

Gerry said: “The last two weeks have been a great learn­ing op­por­tu­nity for the four vis­it­ing nurses. Our links with Pales­tine are well es­tab­lished and based on a shared goal of achiev­ing the best treat­ment pos­si­ble for pa­tients.

“An­other way we help sup­port the diploma pro­gramme is through video con­fer­enc­ing, which al­lows us to teach stu­dents from here in Scot­land.

“As well as learn­ing a great deal about on­col­ogy nurs­ing prac­tices, they have also had a taste of Scot­tish cul­ture, vis­it­ing Loch Ka­trine, go­ing to a foot­ball match, mu­se­ums and a fundrais­ing event.

“I am proud that NHSGGC and the wider com­mu­nity in Glas­gow are help­ing oth­ers in such a hu­man­i­tar­ian way.”

Stu­dents Khi­tam Harb, 33, and 26-year-old Dana Nur hailed the trip a “won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Khi­tam, who had never been on a plane be­fore, said: “This trip is like a dream for me. I am so glad to be learn­ing here in Scot­land.”

Pal­lia­tive care nurse Dana added: “It is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to be able to travel and learn how other parts of the world care for cancer pa­tients.

“The op­por­tu­nity to come to Scot­land is fab­u­lous. I can’t ac­tu­ally be­lieve it is hap­pen­ing.

“Hav­ing ac­cess to this diploma is a real priv­i­lege, not just for us but our pa­tients and for Pales­tine as a whole. This is a dream come true for me and I am very grate­ful to ev­ery­one who has helped.”

Along­side Gerry, their visit was made pos­si­ble through col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde, Glas­gow City Coun­cil, Med­i­cal Aid for Pales­tine and Spirit Aid, a char­ity set up by ac­tor David Hay­man.

This trip is a dream for me. It is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity

Life savers Gerry O’Hare with Dana Nur and Khi­tam Harb

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