Healing Iraq One Book at a Time: Medical Texts and Periodical Donations to Iraqi Healthcare Professionals

CPT Eileen Gillespie, RN

Disclosures

Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2008;8(3) 

In This Article

Iraq Healthcare Today

Today, Iraqi medical professionals continue to battle overwhelming odds to serve their people. Even before the liberation, the Iraqi healthcare system struggled, despite the abundance of well-trained professionals. After many years of neglect and the more recent era of abduction and murder of doctors, Iraq's medical professionals fled en masse. Those who chose to stay were faced with death threats and severe supply shortages, as well as the loss of their ability to move freely to attend professional conferences and training. Although the security situation has improved and the environment for professionals to practice again is improving as well, one gap that persists is a lack of current and relevant texts and journals.

Iraqi healthcare professionals appreciate any help as they treat the scores of trauma and violence victims, malnourished children suffering from parasitic and bacterial diseases from contaminated water supplies, the thousands of victims of posttraumatic stress disorder, and those with chronic illnesses exacerbated by austere living conditions and the lack of healthcare. Books and journals that highlight the newest and most effective treatment guidelines will help to educate the new physicians, pharmacists, technologists, medics, and nurses who graduate from fledgling programs and are thrust into a world where even the most seasoned medical professional would flounder. The donated books and journals represent hope for a better tomorrow. For many of us, book and journal donations may sound like a small thing in the face of such devastating circumstances, but the impact of a year-old medical journal on the morale of Iraqi doctors and nurses is amazing!

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