Mr Hassan, an ophthalmic consultant at Spire Methley Park Hospital and Barnsley Hospital, has just returned from two weeks of charity work in the Dhi Qar Province in the south of Iraq.
The needs in Dhi Qar were basic and, with the help of a vast team including IT experts and medical specialists, many of these needs were fulfilled. This included the implementation of an efficient IT system and the creation of a website for the Dhi Qar Eye Department.
Mr Hassan also worked with the statistics department to put in place a procedure for healthcare workers to collect ophthalmic data and record this electronically.
Whilst in Dhi Qar, Mr Hassan established a Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Department, and obtained premises and ophthalmic equipment to start the screening of patients. He also worked alongside obstetricians and midwives to set up Retinopathy of Prematurity screening for babies who have received neonatal care.
There is an ongoing project to build a training centre which will include a basic phacoemulsification lab and a simulation unit for the Iraqi and Middle Eastern eye doctors to develop their skills within the cataract, glaucoma and vitreo-retinal facility in the Dhi Qar eye department.
Mr Hassan says, “It was a tiring trip but with so many satisfying experiences. I have met many health professionals and IT specialists, who along with others, share with me, the excitement of a new beginning.”