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Newcastle Gateshead Medical Volunteers

Professor Deiary Kader Charity Project

Prof. Deiary Kader (r.) and Alex Flanagan (l.)  

Newcastle Gateshead Medical Volunteers (NGMV) is a charity which was founded by a group of healthcare professionals from the North East of England including Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rheumatology Consultants, Anaesthetists, Nurses and Physiotherapists, to provide voluntary medical care in some of the most deprived (often due to war or other civil disruption) areas of the world. The team has arranged 2-3 trips every year in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in partnership with local charities, thereby helping to develop self-continuing healthcare systems that can function independently. Since 2010, NGMV have performed more than 500 operations and seen thousands of patients. The charity has also visited Najaf and Karbala in southern Iraq. 

Much of the “in country” work involves field surgery. In the Lebanon, this includes treating traumatic and post-traumatic war injuries, and in Iraq there are also a lot of trauma related injuries relating to war wounds. In addition to medical care, the charity has been active in collecting winter clothing and blankets for the Yazidi refugee camp in Duhok, who have suffered immensely at the hands of ISIS. 

The team may perform up to 44 operations in a single week. This is not uncommon, and procedures include osteotomies, and hip and knee surgery, often with a multi-specialism team - including junior doctors, anaesthetists, ward nurses, scrub nurses, physiotherapist,  and tissue viability nurses - ensuring a comprehensive range of acute and rehabilitative care. Once local surgeons and medics have had the opportunity to observe and participate in these procedures, they can go on to carry out such procedures independently as well as teach other clinicians the skills and knowledge they have gained.

Charity founders are Professor Deiary Kader, Professor Paul Banaszkiewicz, Dr Keith Johnston, Ms Gill Rhind, Mrs Paula Hetherington and Dr Sarkhell Radha. The group also has many eminent members, including Univ. Prof. Reinhard Graf from Graz, Austria; Prof. Richard Field from London; Prof. Mike McNicholas from Liverpool, UK; Prof. Oliver Kessler from Zürich, Switzerland and Prof. R Villar from the UK. 

There is also a great deal of academic support and cross-pollination of knowledge and best practice with educational establishments. The Dean of Northumbria University has been instrumental in developing this aspect.

Funding is from donors, big and small. Pharma and orthopaedic industry provide substantial donations – including contributions from Stryker, Smith & Nephew, Johnson & Johnson, and Arthrex. TRB Chemedica UK is proud to be able to contribute to the effort as well, donating free OSTENIL range viscosupplements to help treat patients with degenerative joint disease and tendinopathies. UK hospital trusts also donate decommissioned equipment, such as anaesthetic machines etc.

To find out more, or to make a donation, please visit their website at


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