Gaza's limb reconstruction team: Mohammed Aslan

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and our sister charity IDEALS responded to a preponderance of complex limb injuries by sending British surgical teams to Gaza during the 2014 conflict and in the two years since. They have provided operations for injured Palestinians and on-the-job training for Palestinian medics at Gaza’s largest hospital, Al Shifa.

This project saw major success this year with the establishment of a permanent Limb Reconstruction Unit at Al Shifa, staffed and run entirely by a dedicated team of Palestinian surgeons, nurses and technicians.

We met up with the team and talked to them about their work and life in Gaza.

 Name: Mohammed Aslan

Age: 31

Job: Nurse

Married, has two boys and one girl and a baby coming soon. Lives in the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza, originally from Jaffa.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

“I worked as a car electrician when I was a child, and nursing was only my hobby not a profession yet. But I graduated with a bachelor degree in nursing.”

What ritual do you have each day starting your work?

“I work according to the system of shifts; I follow up with the patients before and after the operations, and each Tuesday we have a skype call meeting with two doctors from the IDEALS team.”

What are your hobbies?

“I read, play football and hang out with friends.”

What’s your biggest challenge?

“The lack of staff and a shortage of resources are our biggest challenge. We cannot apply everything that we learned, but we try our best by using the available resources. It is a big challenge trying to achieve proper results for patients with just minimal resources.”

During the 2014 conflict I worked three shifts a day. The orthopaedic department becomes very similar to the emergency department

What do you do before operations?

“My job is to prepare the patient before and after the operation. I also review every case after is is referred to us from the outpatient clinic.”

Who’s your hero?

“My hero is my father. On a professional level, the previous head of department in the European hospital.”

How is it like when there’s emergency?

“During the 2014 conflict I worked three shifts a day. The orthopaedic department becomes very similar to the emergency department. There are so many cases and the diagnosing is very primitive. Sometimes we would receive up to 50 patients without having enough space for them.”

What’s your beautiful memory?

“There was an amputation case and we feared for the worst for this patient. I was surprised when I saw him in a wheelchair, after a while he retained the ability to walk again.”


Featured image: Photo: Lara Aburamadan

Keep up to date

Sign up for our newsletter to receive all the latest updates from our programmes, campaigns and fundraising appeals.