Humanitarian Work in Afghanistan – Doctor from Taylor's School of Medicine Shares His Latest Volunteering Experience

Dr. Jaweed has made a personal commitment to work as a volunteer overseas, and each year he takes time off to spend it helping people in different part of the world. His recently volunteered to go to Afghanistan where he spent time in Kandahar and Kabul.

Dr. Mohammad Jaweed is a clinical specialist and Senior Lecturer at the Taylor's School of Medicine , he recently ventured to Afghanistan as part of his annual personal commitment to volunteer work. Dr. Jaweed commented that, "Coming myself from a developing country, I have long been aware of the need to help people in such nations. My commitment to doing this was also greatly influenced by my colleagues and friends and their experiences overseas, which is why I felt the need to do the same for people who need my help. Personally, I wanted to bring meaning to someone’s life again, to be a part of their healing; bring joy and happiness back into their lives".

Over the years he has worked as a volunteer in Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and central Africa. But he knew that going to Afghanistan was going to be a very special personal experience for him - because this is where his family roots are from. He said that, "Over the years, most of my volunteer work involved patient care and working in hospitals and clinics, but on this trip I wanted to provide something specific to Afghan medical doctors and students – many of whom lack access to the latest surgical techniques. I wanted to focus more on medical education and to share my expertise and experience with them, and in particular the surgical advances in neurosurgery field that I had recently learnt from my time as an AoSpine Fellow at the Royal Adelaide Hospital".

His visit to Afghanistan began at Kabul Medical University where he delivered lectures on 'Head trauma and the management of head trauma' to some 140 junior doctors and medical students. While in Kabul he also visited the Ali-Abad Teaching Hospital, which is 265-bed hospital that specializes in the teaching of medical students and nurses studying at Kabul Medical University. The Department of Neurosurgery at the Ali-Abad Hospital has 35 beds, and is mostly utilized for management of acute head injury patients, but it also serves well as a training center for young resident doctors who are training to become neurosurgeons. He spent several days in the Ali- Abad Hospital, teaching surgical residents and joiner specialist how to approach head trauma patients with spinal disorders. He also conducted several sessions of bed-side teaching, and completed general hospital rounds with the doctors.

Dr. Mohammad Jaweed (front 4th from right) at the Southern Afghanistan Kandahar Medical University School of Medicine

After spending a week in Kabul, he was then invited to go to the Kandahar southern Afghanistan - which is generally regarded as one of the most dangerous places on the planet to visit. During his stay in Kandahar he also delivered a number of Guest Lectures at the University of Kandahar's Faculty of Medicine on ' Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder ' (PTSD). He commented that, "I received a very warm welcome from the young doctors, and I hope that I was able to inspire them". Finally, he commented that as a lecturer and health care giver "I strongly encourage everyone to have at least one volunteering experience and to contribute to society. Volunteering is about helping a complete stranger who needs you the most and the rewards are far beyond expectation. Just extending a little help can make a huge difference in someone else’s life – and also in your own".