Gallery: Doctor set to organise airlifting of medical supplies to Afghanistan
A DOCTOR who grew up in Comet country is organising an airlift of medical supplies to Afghanistan, where she is setting up a clinic in a women s prison. Karen Woo, who grew up in Brixham Close in Stevenage, is part of Bridge Afghanistan – a not-for-profit
A DOCTOR who grew up in Comet country is organising an airlift of medical supplies to Afghanistan, where she is setting up a clinic in a women's prison.
Karen Woo, who grew up in Brixham Close in Stevenage, is part of Bridge Afghanistan - a not-for-profit organisation consisting of a group of young professionals, including doctors and journalists, with the aim of supporting those in greatest need in Afghanistan by attracting aid from different parts of the world.
The former Barclay School pupil, who qualified as a doctor in 2003, first visited Afghanistan in April last year and subsequently left her job at Bupa in October to head out to the war-torn country to work in their hospitals.
"Things are awful, particularly for women and children," she said.
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With the help of the US Air Force, the 35-year-old has organised an airlift of medical supplies to be flown to an airbase in Afghanistan next month.
She has collected supplies from various hospitals in the UK - particularly medications which are usually destroyed if distributed and unused. "We're going to take it out to Afghanistan instead," she said.
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"We're taking medical equipment to try and make things a bit better, but it's going to be a drop in the ocean obviously."
Dr Woo, a surgeon, will head out to Afghanistan to distribute the medical supplies to five government hospitals in Kabul, including a clinic she and a female Afghan doctor are setting up in the women's prison there.
"The Afghan government gave over the running of some of the hospitals to non-governmental organisations," she explained. "They are able to do a lot more than the government hospitals because they have external funding. I'm trying to help the government hospitals. They have much less equipment, are limited on medications, and the doctors often don't get paid."
Bridge Afghanistan is also making a documentary - with the working title A Conflict of Interest - about healthcare in Afghanistan.
"The documentary was born out of the idea to try and convey the situation there," she explained.
"It's to try and offset the fact that we see things like guns, bombs and the Taliban on the news all the time, but people still get sick.
"It's an independent documentary at present, but we would like to get it commissioned."
Appealing directly to Comet readers, Dr Woo said: "We need money. We can use the money to directly buy medications and equipment, to help fund the documentary, and to pay salaries."
Donations to the cause can be made through the A Conflict of Interest bank account. The account number is 26689855 and the sort code is 60-30-06.
For more information about Bridge Afghanistan, visit www.bridgeafghanistan.blogspot.com