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Dumfries doctor heads to help on frontline

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By Fiona Reid
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Dumfries doctor heads to help on frontline

A DOCTOR from Dumfries and Galloway, is one of a team of five who’ve gone out to Ukraine with a frontline medical aid charity.

Dr Freda Newlands, who is based in the Emergency Department at DGRI, and her colleagues at UK-Med are working with local health providers and international organisations in Ukraine to establish how best to address the needs of the some of the 1.5 million people who’ve been internally displaced since the conflict began.

Speaking from the airport, she said: “It’s unbelievable, the number of people who’ve had to flee, and unimaginable the physical and emotional trauma they’re going through. So I’m really proud and privileged to go out and do what I can to help.”

This is Dr Newland’s second deployment with UK-Med, and she’s highly skilled in working in crisis zones, having previously worked in the Rohingya refugee camps, with war wounded patients in North Jordan and training healthcare workers to prepare for mass-casualty events in Gaza.

She believes one of the benefits is that it makes her better able to do her job back home, saying: “It builds your resilience, your capability, and ability to feel calm. I think it’s very good to have worked in low resource hospitals so that you’re able to appreciate what you’ve got and what’s available at home.”

UK-Med have launched a national appeal to raise £500,000 towards their vital lifesaving work. Donations can be made directly at www.uk-med.org.

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