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Story | Research
1 October 2019

How QF is helping doctors save children’s lives in conflict zones


Newly-launched Arabic version of paediatric blast injury manual produced through support of WISH

Doctors who treat the young victims of explosions in conflict zones get their greatest reward from “the way the child looks at us”, according to one of the medical experts who has helped to develop a vital new health guide.

Dr. Malik Nizamettin has played a key role in producing the Paediatric Blast Injury Field Manual, which enables healthcare professionals to provide severely injured children with the right, and the quickest, treatment – and has now been produced in Arabic for the first time, with the help of Qatar Foundation (QF).

A Paediatrician and Medical Manager at Syria Relief, an international aid NGO, Dr. Nizamettin has worked with Dr. Paul Reavley, Consultant Paediatric Emergency Physician at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children in the UK, the manual’s lead author and a former military doctor, to develop the guide.

Dr. Malik Nizamettin says the manual provides vital information to all medical professionals about how to treat young blast injury victims.

The manual’s lead author, Dr. Paul Reavley, says the aim is for the manual to be developed in more languages.

When the English edition of the guide was presented to the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) at its biennial Summit last year, the QF initiative offered its support to extend the manual’s reach and benefit. It has subsequently enabled the development of the Arabic version - launched at an event titled ‘Artistic Dimensions to a Healthier World’, curated by WISH, at Doha’s Fire Station arts hub – and will also distribute it.

And Dr. Nizamettin said: “I don’t know if people can imagine the pain that a doctor feels when they have to cut off the hand or foot of a child aged two-to-four years who has been injured in an explosion, and the quality of life that the child will then face.

“Every six months, the doctor will have to open and close the wound again, and the child will have to undergo more than 10 operations before they become an adult because of the growth of their bones. I hope that decision-makers can truly come to recognize not just the physical impact of these injuries, but also the psychological impact, and the value of saving a child’s life.”

This manual enables healthcare professionals to have the technical knowledge, to save children’s lives.

Dr. Malik Nizamettin

Speaking about the blast injury manual, Dr. Nizamettin explained that the launch of its Arabic version will make “a significant contribution” to treating injured children in countries where the primary language of the medical program is Arabic, including Syria.

“The importance of this manual is that it enables healthcare professionals from different medical specializations – not only paediatrics – to have the technical knowledge, explained in a simple and straightforward way, to save children’s lives,” he said.

“One way in which doctors and other healthcare professionals benefit from this manual is that they know the correct dose of medicine to give to a child who has suffered blast injuries. It also provides them with other vital information, such as how to control crowds and keep them away from a child when they are receiving emergency treatment, as well as how to provide these children with the psychological support they need following their injuries.

As a doctor, the most important thing for me is treating children in the quickest possible time and in the most effective way.

Dr. Malik Nizamettin

“As a doctor, the most important thing for me is treating children in the quickest possible time and in the most effective way. WISH has helped me to reach out to healthcare professionals throughout the world, and I am very proud and happy that this knowledge of how to treat young blast injury victims has now spread to the Arabic-speaking world. It demonstrates how WISH is improving the quality of healthcare to children on an international scale.”

The Translation and Interpreting Institute, part of QF member Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, translated the English version of the manual into Arabic, showcasing how QF initiatives and entities work together to benefit humanity.

Dr. Reavley emphasized that the manual needs to be promoted to more healthcare professionals around the world, saying: “Launching this Arabic version is very important, especially for countries like Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and we are planning to see this manual translated into other languages as well.

“The English version has been distributed to medical professionals since April, and in that time it has been downloaded more than 100,000 times through the Save The Children website, with hard copies being provided in 10 countries. We are now seeking to enhance our collaboration with WISH, which, as a hub of innovation in healthcare, can help to ensure access to this manual by more countries around the world, as we also look to develop it in the form of a mobile app to make it easier for healthcare professionals to find information. Saving children’s lives requires innovation.”

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