Physicians for Peace Launches Burn Care Team in Yemen [Archives:1998/16/Health]

April 20 1998

Norfolk, VA, April 10, 1998 – In a joint effort between the Ministry of Health and Physicians For Peace, an international team of physicians, nurses and physical therapists begins PFP’s seventh volunteer medical mission in the Republic of Yemen on April 10. The primary objective of this 2 1/2 month humanitarian activity is to share highly specialized burn care treatment with host colleagues.
At the invitation of Yemen’s Minister of Health, Dr. Abdulla A Wali Nasher, this will be the 7th PFP team of medical specialists to provide both medical education and teaching since the first mission in 1994.

Under the leadership of Dr. Victor H. Davis, assistant professor of surgery/burn and trauma specialist at the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine in Albuquerque, the primary objective of this mission is to foster the valuable exchange of medical education and technique between the PFP team and Yemeni doctors and nurses in order to provide the best patient care for their patients.
On a schedule of overlapping visits ranging from two to four weeks during the 2 1/2 months, the PFP team of four physicians, two physical therapists and four critical care nurses will work closely with their Yemeni colleagues at the Al-Ghamoory Teaching Hospital, a 16-bed facility in the capital city of Sanaa. The physicians will begin early grafting, splinting of smaller burns and then initiate early physical therapy. This should help prevent some of the severe scarring and contractures that seem so common. The nurses will help with dressing changes, management of grafted wounds and mobilization of patients. The physical therapists will demonstrate the importance of early splinting, early active and passive range of motion in the patients and stress the importance of long-term post operative vigorous therapy to get the maximum results. In early May, plastic surgeons will join the team to surgically help treat patients suffering from burn contractures.
Because of the highly successful “Yemeni-PFP Symposium for Continuing Medical Education” hosted by the Minister of Health in Sanaa in October 1997, planning is underway for the Ministry to repeat another success during the burn care medical mission. The day-long conference will feature lecture presentations by the PFP team and Yemeni counterparts with an emphasis on understanding the complexities of burn/trauma care.
PHYSICIANS FOR PEACE was founded by renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Charles E. Horton, as a non-government, non-denominational, non-profit organization dedicated to improving international health care through continuing medical and nursing education. Based in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, since 1984, almost 150 medical missions, from ten days to six weeks in length, have been conducted by teams of physicians, dentists, nurses and technicians in countries in the Middle East, Central America, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and parts of Asia. Areas of pressing need are under continual review for possible future missions. This camaraderie creates a bond of mutual respect and professionalism.
Physicians For Peace Team Members
Jane Bentley, P.T. – Physical Therapist, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Victor H. Davis, M.D. – PFP Team Leader, Burn/Trauma Specialist, Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of New Mexico Medical School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paula Drever, R.N. – Plastic Surgery/Critical Care Nurse, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Michele Fratrick, R.N. – Burn Care Nurse, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Rick Murdoch, P.T. – Physical Therapist, Albuquerque, New Mexico
J.D. Sharick, R.N. – Burn Care Nurse, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Linda Sylvester, R.N. – Trauma/Surgical ICU Nurse, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jon Wagner, M.D. – Plastic Surgeon, University of New Mexico Medical School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Daniel Westbury, M.D. – General Surgery Resident, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Gerald Yospur, M.D. – Plastic Surgery Resident, University of New Mexico Medical School, Albuquerque, New Mexico