From Dubbo to Kurdistan
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.
Erica with border, children. in