Mansfield and Ashfield: Hospital’s aid for war-torn Gaza

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  • by Matt Halfpenny

Staff across Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust have been collecting equipment and donations to send out to aid the sick and injured in war-torn Gaza.

The humanitarian relief efforts have been led by consultant general surgeons at King’s Mill Hospital, Eduardo Villatoro and Irfam Akhtar.

The pair have helped source surplus medicine and unused equipment from colleagues to meet the acute shortage of supplies in Gaza after being inspired by other NHS Trusts across the UK running similar appeals.

So far, around 2,000 people have died in the bloody conflict between the Israeli government and Palestinian militants.

“We’ve had a fantastic response from colleagues across the trust who have helped us coordinate the collection within 48 hours of launching our appeal,” said Mr Akhtar.

“Most of the equipment collected has either gone past its expiry date, is no longer fit for NHS purpose or is obsolete. However, in desperate circumstances where there is an acute shortage of medicine, such as Gaza, the supplies will be life-saving.”

Mr Villatoro added: “Colleagues kindly allowed us to use theatre four as a temporary storage area before the equipment was sent today.

“We have also been calling for volunteers to help us coordinate the collection, and have been inviting wards and offices to raise money through cake sales and other fundraising events for the charity International Health Partners – which is creating emergency health kits to take into Gaza.”

Denise Guzdz, theatre department leader, said: “A big thank you to all our colleagues who have supported our cause, including those who contributed cakes for a bake sale to raise money for the Gaza appeal.

“Local residents have also been in touch to let us know that they support us and want to help - and it is very good to hear that.”

An emergency medical Kit costs £370 to put together and will provide up to 1,200 treatments in the Middle East.

Among the surplus items being collected are medications such as painkillers, antibiotics, eye drops, surgical equipment and theatre items that include gowns, gloves, masks, eye shields, sutures and scrub solutions.

Also being sent are syringes, hypodermic needles and tourniquet, wound dressings and dressing packs, medical sheets and blankets, hospital patient gowns, intravenous lines and fluid infusion packs.

For more information about how you can help with fundraising: visit




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