Four Palestinian nurses have spent two weeks in Scotland, learning about advances in caring for cancer patients, as part of their post-graduate studies.
Gerry O’Hare, an oncology nurse based at the Vale of Leven Hospital was instrumental in setting up the post-graduate diploma with the University of Bethlehem, following a visit to the West Bank six years ago.
Bethlehem is twinned with Glasgow and the nurses’ visit was made possible through collaboration between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow City Council, Medical Aid for Palestine and Spirit Aid, a charity set up by actor David Hayman.
Gerry said: “The last two weeks have been a great learning opportunity for the four visiting nurses. Our links with Palestine are well established and based on a shared goal of achieving the best treatment possible for patients.
“As part of their placements, the nurses have spent time at a number of NHSGGC hospitals including the Vale of Leven, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Beatson, as well as the Marie Curie centre at Stobhill and Maggies Centre.
“Another way we help support the diploma programme is through video conferencing, which allows us to teach students from here in Scotland.
“As well as learning a great deal about oncology nursing practices, they have also had a taste of Scottish culture, visiting Loch Katrine, going to a football match, museums and a fundraising event on Saturday night. I am proud that NHSGGC and the wider community in Glasgow are helping others in such a humanitarian way.”
The trip was the first time that 33 year-old Khitam Harb had been out of her home country and her first trip on a plane.
She said: “This trip is like a dream for me; I am so glad to be learning here in Scotland.”
Khitam’s fellow student, 26 year-old Dana Nur is a nurse in a palliative care facility in East Jerusalem.
Dana said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to travel and learn how other parts of the world care for cancer patients.
“The opportunity to come to Scotland is fabulous; I can’t actually believe it is happening. Having access to this diploma is a real privilege, not just for us but our patients and for Palestine as a whole. This is a dream come true for me and I am very grateful to everyone who has helped.”
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