Gaza- British war surgeon David Nott was back in the Gaza Strip this week to share with local doctors specialist knowledge he has amassed from working in conflict and disaster zones over the past quarter-century.
An expert in using minimal equipment to treat patients in basic facilities, Nott returned three years after his previous visit during the 2014 Gaza war between Israel and Palestinian militants.
This time, hospitals in Gaza are again struggling to cope with a crisis: power cuts and medicine shortages stemming from a blockade.
In a hall at a beachfront restaurant this week, Nott instructed 36 Palestinian surgeons in special techniques to deal with injuries in a war zone.
“I was very impressed with the Gaza surgeons last time … but of course those experiences get less and less as time goes on and you have to then retrain the new surgeons how to deal with those injuries,” he told Reuters.
“That is the reason why I am here … to try and give the surgeons who work in Gaza as much of my knowledge and experiences as I have gained over the last 25 years.”
Nott is a co-founder of the David Nott Foundation, which is dedicated to furthering the principles and improving the standards and practice of humanitarian surgery.
A specialist in vascular surgery, he worked in hospitals in Syria in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to treat victims of its civil war. He has also practiced surgery in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Darfur, Iraq and other conflict areas.
Notts’ visit comes at a time when international reports have said that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating “further and faster” than was forecast only a few years ago.
The head of the World Health Organization’s Palestinian territories, the West Bank and Gaza office, Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, has expressed concern over the deteriorating living and health conditions in the Gaza Strip.
He said it was unacceptable for patients not to be able to leave the territory in order to seek health services.