PHYSICISTS are learning how to rebuild radiotherapy cancer care in Iraq – by visiting Sheffield.
More than 400 health staff from the country will stay in the city to learn about British healthcare and to find out how services at Weston Park Cancer Hospital are delivered.
The project, run by Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, will also see the students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art machinery.
The partnership between Sheffield Hallam University and the Ministry is also training doctors and other healthcare professionals across a number of disciplines.
Amal-al-Musawi, a medical physicist, said the course had highlighted ways to change the radiotherapy care given in her hospital back in Baghdad.
Moira Tomlinson, senior manager of radiation services at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, added: “The project will hopefully spread our radiotherapy expertise to a country that is really trying to move its healthcare forward after a difficult time.
“We are proud to be asked by Sheffield Hallam to participate.”
Healthcare conditions in Iraq have declined along with the number of doctors, nurses and other professionals over the last decade, but there are now major efforts to develop provision.
Sponsorship for the project has come from the Iraqi Ministry of Health and all money generated is to be put back into Sheffield hospitals.
Dr Christine Ferris, from Sheffield Hallam, said: “In the new Iraq the Ministry of Health’s focus is on developing capacity, capability and infrastructure as well as seeking to build relations between private and public sectors.
“Consequently they have looked to the UK to help support the education and training of doctors, nurses and other health professionals.”