From Dubbo to Kur­dis­tan

Dubbo Photo News - - News Extra - By LY­DIA PEDRANA

HUN­DREDS of thou­sands of dol­lars worth of un­used med­i­cal equip­ment from Dubbo Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal will find a new home in Kur­dis­tan refugee camps and hos­pi­tals, help­ing thou­sands of Yazidi peo­ple who have been dis­placed by ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion ISIS.

The equip­ment from Dubbo, which will be trans­ported to north­ern Iraq on a 44-foot ship­ping con­tainer by Op­er­a­tion Hope Aus­tralia Lim­ited, in­cludes two theatre beds, a portable in­cu­ba­tor, an in­fant warmer, two theatre mi­cro­scopes, two diathermy machines and a blood fridge.

Dubbo Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal main­te­nance man­ager, Craig Bud­den, told Dubbo Photo News that un­used med­i­cal equip­ment was of­ten dif­fi­cult off­load, so he was glad to know it was be­ing do­nated to a good cause.

“It’s a good thing that Op­er­a­tion Hope is do­ing, and we are glad to see it (the equip­ment) go some­where and be put to good use,” Mr Bud­den said.

“The equip­ment we are do­nat­ing is stuff we don’t use any­more; there’s some from our post-na­tal unit which has closed down, and there’s also other equip­ment which we have up­graded.

“It’s still in work­ing or­der and too good to scrap, but it’s hard to get rid of that sort of stuff usu­ally.”

Op­er­a­tion Hope Aus­tralia Lim­ited is the brain­child of hu­man­i­tar­ian cou­ple, Kim and Erica Hen­ley, from New­cas­tle.

Af­ter vis­it­ing Mo­sul dur­ing the month ISIS was be­ing driven out of the vil­lage in 2014, Mrs Hen­ley saw the dire need for med­i­cal equip­ment to deal with the ar­rival of refugees and dis­placed com­mu­ni­ties.

“We ended up rais­ing and send­ing $17,000 over a six-month pe­riod for refugees and in­ter­nally mis­placed peo­ple from the camps that were taken into Er­bil, the cap­i­tal of Kur­dis­tan, and we paid for their surg­eries,” Mrs Hen­ley told Dubbo Photo News.

“A lot of the in­juries were from airstrikes in Mo­sul and they had

Hen­ley at Ba­jed Kan­dala 2 camp Iraq, 20km from the Syr­ian in Septem­ber 2018 Yazidi SUPPLIED

ei­ther had surgery that needed re­do­ing, or they hadn’t had any surgery at all.”

At the end of 2018, Mr and Mrs Hen­ley filled their first 44-foot ship­ping con­tainer with med­i­cal equip­ment and aid, in­clud­ing blan­kets, clothes, hy­giene kits and ed­u­ca­tion re­sources to Kur­dis­tan which was sent and dis­trib­uted through­out the Duhok prov­ince.

“In that Duhok prov­ince, there are 24 refugee and in­ter­nally dis­placed peo­ple camps with

hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple and if they get sick, they end up in the hos­pi­tals that Kur­dis­tan es­tab­lished. They are very ille­quipped to deal with an influx of 8 mil­lion peo­ple so the med­i­cal equip­ment that we send them is very much ap­pre­ci­ated and put to good use,” she said.

The Yazidi peo­ple are the largest group of in­ter­nally dis­placed peo­ple in Kur­dis­tan as re­sult of what the United Na­tion clas­si­fies as ISIS-LED geno­cide, and these com­mu­ni­ties will see the ben­e­fits of Op­er­a­tion Hope Aus­tralia’s char­i­ta­ble ini­tia­tives.

“They have been in these camps for five years and they are liv­ing in tents that were erected for six months as emer­gency hous­ing,” Mrs Hen­ley ex­plained.

“Be­cause they are from Iraq, nei­ther the Kur­dish nor Iraqi govern­ment are will­ing to go back into the vil­lages that were dec­i­mated and de­stroyed to defuse booby traps set by ISIS and re­build these vil­lages, so there is no im­me­di­ate fu­ture that we can see with them re­turn­ing to their vil­lages.”

While Mrs Hen­ley is lead­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion, she re­fuses to bathe in any praise.

“We don’t do this for any re­ward, but hon­estly when we re­ceive a photo with in­fant in­cu­ba­tors we have trans­ported over there in use, it just warms your heart and I get quite teary and emo­tional,” she said.

“I want to keep do­ing all that I can for these peo­ple.

“Whether they are Mus­lims or Yazidis or Chris­tians, it doesn’t mat­ter. Any­body who is in need, I want to help out.”

Along with the goods from Dubbo Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal, the sec­ond ship­ping con­tainer will also in­clude equip­ment do­nated by Toronto and Forster Pri­vate Hos­pi­tals.

While still in the early plan­ning stages, Mrs Hen­ley ex­pects the ship­ment to cost close to $25,000 and is en­cour­ag­ing those who want to lend a help­ing hand to do­nate through their web­site www.op­er­a­tionho­peaus­tralia. com.

PHOTO:

Erica with bor­der, chil­dren. in

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