Dr. Aadil Ahmed, a SASPI (South African Society of Pediatric Imaging member, visited Palestine in June 2013. Here is his report.
I was in Gaza from the 15th to the 22nd June 2013. The IMA (Islamic Medical Association of South Africa) put me in contact with PMA (Partners Medical Aid) who arranged the trip with the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Gaza is approximately 41 km long with a maximum width of about 15 km, and is completely enclosed with minimal access via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt (image left). It hosts a population of about 1,8 million people. The 4 largest government-run hospitals are Shifa Hospital (largest, but mainly adult services, with some pediatric surgical service), Nasr Hospital, Rantissi Hospital, and European Gaza hospital. There are a handful of radiologists with various levels of training. A radiology training program has been started, currently with about 8 trainee radiologists. The program is struggling due to poor equipment, lack of supervision, and no structured teaching program and radiology service.
I spent 3 days at the two paediatric hospitals and one day at European Gaza hospital, delivering pediatric radiology lectures to radiologists and some to the paediatric department as well. I also conducted practical paediatric ultrasound and fluoroscopy training, and went through interesting and difficult MRI and CT paediatric cases.
Nasr Hospital for children: about 150 beds with PICU, neonatal ICU and outpatients. Small, poorly
equipped radiology department:- x-ray unit, and poor ultrasound(better ultrasound machine in neonatal ICU for portable studies performed there). One general radiologist, a MO, and some trainees that rotate. Large compliment of paediatricians. Teleconferencing facilities.
Nasr Hospital, reception
Rantissi Specialist Paediatric Hospital: Oncology, renal, neurology, surgery departments. Equipment: digital fluoroscopy unit, conventional x-ray, multi-slice CT(6 slice), ultasound(very poor quality, no Doppler capability). There is one recently qualified radiologist running this department, with some trainee's rotating through. MRI cases are sent to the European Gaza hospital, but there is limited access and no MRI anesthesia service.
CT, Rantissi Hospital
European Gaza hospital:
serves the southern part of Gaza. Adult and paediatric hospital with 250+ beds. Reasonable equipment: 64 slice CT, 1.5T MRI, ultrasound and conventional x-ray. Fluoroscopy unit was down.