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Vale cancer nurse helps organise Gaza’s first cancer conference

Vale nurse Gerry O’Hare has just returned from Palestine, where he helped organise the country’s first cancer conference.

Gerry, an oncology nurse and Dr Abdulla Al-Hasso, a clinical oncologist based at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre were instrumental in planning ‘Cancer Professionals’ Scientific Days’ which was held in Gaza, Palestine.

The conference was organised by Medical Aid for Palestinians and brought together doctors and nurses from Gaza, where cancer is a major public health issue. The conference was supported locally by the Ministry for Health.

Gerry said: “It was a rare opportunity for health professionals in Gaza to gather to share knowledge and expertise on cancer related subjects. Travel restrictions for Gaza health professionals mean educational opportunities like this are limited.” 

A team of international and local lecturers presented various topics on general cancer management - diagnosis, staging, communication, symptoms control and end of life and palliative care.

Gerry also had the opportunity to meet up again with nurses from Bethlehem who presented at the conference.

Gerry said “It was particularly pleasing as the nurses had been on clinical placement at NHSGGC cancer hospitals, the nurses acknowledged to the delegates how valuable the clinical placements were for them and their career development.”