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American Academy of Ophthalmology President leads alliance work to rebuild health care in Iraq
Date:10/26/2009

rtant cause." In 2003 he founded and continues to chair the Medical Alliance-Iraq (MAI), now an element of International Medical Corps (IMC), a non-governmental organization.

Dr. Brennan began by touring Iraq in a small car with a private driver. Within two months he visited most of the major medical schools and met at least a thousand Iraq doctors. He listened carefully as the doctors explained their needs. To meet those needs, he recruited US and United Kingdom colleagues, including Randall Williams, MD, obstetrician-gynecologist, and Robert Norris, MD, an emergency medicine specialist, and pediatrician Majeed Jawad, MD, England. Among the projects undertaken by team members are development of a national emergency medical system and mental health programs to help children with trauma-related problems.

"Thanks to Dr. Brennan's work and the support of Dr. Gagliano and US military medicine, we are seeing a transformation in Iraqi medical education and patient care," said Tara Reshid, MD, director of Ophthalmology at Al Kindi Teaching Hospital, Baghdad. "Before, many Iraqis could not get the surgery or medicines they needed, and so they suffered needlessly or died. But now, for example, our doctors can keep women from dying from hemorrhage after childbirth, because of training and resources provided by MAI volunteers."

Even as he continues working in Iraq, Dr. Brennan is taking on a new challenge. When he and his colleagues met with General David H. Petraeus, they were asked to bring MAI methods to another US war zone: Afghanistan. Dr. Brennan departs for Kabul this November.


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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
510-725-5677
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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