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tv   Waheeds Wars - Saving Lives Across...  BBC News  August 5, 2017 9:30pm-10:01pm BST

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lines: the un has voted to sanctions against north korea. it comes after two long—range elastic test last month. venezuelan‘s assembly has sacked the country's chief prosecutor. the loser ortega's of we re prosecutor. the loser ortega's of were surrounded by the national guard earlier. the regional trade worker suspended venezuela. police say a british model was kidnapped in milan to be sold in an online auction. the women, who has not been named, had gone to italy for what she thought was a photo shoot. the legendary athlete that is usain bolt has booked his place in the 100m final at the world championships here in london. his final individual race before he says, he'll retire. coming up atiopm, coming up at 10pm, we will be here with a full round—up of the day's news. afghanistan, a country wracked
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by seemingly interminable war. here, there are always casualties. in the hospitals, they fight their own daily battle against injury and disease, armed with the most basic facilities. on the outskirts of the capital, kabul, lies a refugee camp for around 1000 afghan families displaced by war and poverty. today, they have a visitor, a man who knows how it is to live in the most basic of conditions. it is very sad to see this.
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it brings all my memories back. in his kitchen in chester, dr waheed arian is taking yet another call from afghanistan. a hospital in kabul has a problem and needs expert help. most hospitals there have his number on speed dial. over the past two years, he has established a network of around 100 volunteer doctors and consultants in the west who give free advice to hospitals in war zones.
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it is all done by text, whatsapp, skype, and e—mail. this is tele—medicine at its simplest and most effective. they don't have the up—to—date technologies, the cutting—edge expertise. they don't have advanced, evidence—based medicine. they need any expertise and advice that's more world class here. it's very useful for them. just to make sure the child is well, the child is stable. they send us the cases immediately on the phone and our specialists look at those cases and give them advice. hi, who do we have here? for the last three years, the doctor has been based at a hospital in liverpool, but his life is still dominated by afghanistan. born in kaboul31i years ago,
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he grew up knowing only war. the soviet afghan conflict in the 19805 made him a child refugee. the ensuing civil war of the 19905 shaped his destiny. his parents sent him to england to give him a chance of a future. they could never have imagined how he would seize that opportunity and create new hope for those casualties of war in his homeland and beyond. i'd seen so much suffering in my childhood and that was still vivid in my memory. i wanted to see if i could help in any way alleviate that suffering for many people in a similar position to mine as a child. when i went back to afghanistan, i made regular trips, and i could see people still suffering. i thought i have to make a difference. along with other colleagues, go and try to do as much as we can. waheed and his wife davina have
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lived in chester since 2014. their son zayn was born two years later. waheed is a specialist in radiology at aintree university hospital. but just two years from qualifying as a consultant he's taken a career break to develop his new project, arian teleheal. he had spoken to me before he made the decision to concentrate on the charity. i believe that if you've got a passion and an idea, you must fulfil it, otherwise you may have regrets in later life. the fact that his passion was to save millions of lives, especially in poorer countries that don't have such a great facility as we have in the nhs,
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and because the idea was so brilliant, it was one of those risks you couldn't not take. so, yes, ijust said, go for it. but with the charity still in its infancy, he doesn't have funding to pay himself a salary. i rely on working friday, saturday and sundays in emergency departments as a senior emergency doctor. that provides me the expenses to support my family, to support myself, as well as to cater for all trips. i'm off to kabul, afghanistan from manchester airport, this time on the invitation of the minister of public health in order to review the work of telemedicine, with existing hospitals, and to plan the expansion of telemedicine throughout afghanistan in the nearfuture. i'm very happy that i'll be able to see my family again tomorrow.
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when waheed was born in 1983, the soviet afghan war was already in its fourth year. by the time he was five, his family decided to escape to pakistan. they subsequently spent three years in a refugee camp near peshawar. today, back at the family home in kabul, waheed and his parents reminisce about their terrifying journey on foot and donkeys through the mountains near the khyber pass. most frightening of all, the moment when they were almost killed by a russian helicopter gunship. translation: we thought we would all be killed and this would be our last breath. i wasjust thinking about saving you. the plane fired a rocket which destroyed the wall of the house in which we were hiding.
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i told you, if i'm killed, go back to kabul, nowhere else. on most trips home, waheed takes close to distribute at the refugee camp. the memories of his childhood years in pakistan are always with him. the living conditions in the refugee camp were inhumane. as a family of ten, we were living in one muddy room with just one carpet, a few pillows, no mattresses. the temperatures would rise to 45 degrees. we suffered from malaria several times, like many other refugees in that camp. then i contracted tuberculosis, that lasted two years. i was treated by one of the doctors in the camp. that's when i became inspired to become a doctor. so that i could help myself,
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my family and many other people like myself who were suffering. after three years in the camp, the family returned to kabul. the russians had gone, but civil war now raged through the country. that's where i used to live between the age of eight and 15. all this area used to be flats, destroyed by the war. we had to move from our house to near the mountains over there. from there we had to move to behind the mountains over there because of the war. then we had to move all the way to the other side of kabul. just to hide from the shelling is and the bombings that were happening on a daily basis. eventually his parents would take the decision to send him abroad and his life would never be
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the same again. but in 2017, he no longer runs from war, he confronts it. and today in afghanistan, there is war on two fronts. the taliban never went away, but now the situation is further complicated by new insurgents. more than 30 people have been killed in an attack by so—called islamic state. the three gunmen were dressed as doctors. waheed was in this hospital 2a hours before the isis attack. his younger brother, a junior doctor, was moments from death. everybody was running to save their lives. we couldn't find a way out. we found a door. we smashed the door and after that we were all running. unfortunately, i lost my two friends. they were my class fellows.
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i lost those friends in hospital. we were all at the house waiting to hear the bad news. my parents were distraught. my mother was crying nonstop. we were in a shock situation, waiting by the phone, complete shock, in utter shock, how something unexpected like that could happen at any moment and that's why it's so dangerous. the attack was a stark reminder of what hospitals in afghanistan are up against. but it's notjust the direct results of terror attacks that need attention. with poor sanitation, scarce resources and a low standard of medical training, there are numerous problems whichjust don't occur in the developed world. 0n waheed's latest trip, he visits a number of hospitals to check on the progress of his telemedicine scheme and inevitably encounters new cases.
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waheed's telemedicine scheme is deliberately nonpolitical and nonreligious. and when the unreliable afghan telephone system allows, it gets results. translation: all hospitals receive complicated cases, but almost all maternity hospitals have emergencies. two cases were covered very well and we received very good information. with one patient we weren't sure what the problems were. we sent the symptoms and after discussing with international doctors, we started the procedure. thank god the patient recovered well and was discharged. as you can see, there is no high density to indicate any bleeds,
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intracranial or extracranial bleeds. waheed also met with the head of emergency and intensive care services for the whole of afghanistan. she has a direct line to the health minister so she is a vital contact. all of this became possible because of waheed's parents' decision to send him to london in 1999. translation: he was 15 when the fighting got worst and this time it was due to the taliban. i had a discussion with my friend and told him my son is very clever and intelligent. my friends told me they would send him to a foreign country. they took him to pakistan
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and from there he went abroad. translation: my son was very smart and he wanted to study, but i did not want to send him anywhere. we had a house which we sold so we could send him to london. i became very depressed. so the 15—year—old waheed arrived in a new land, an asylum seeker, not knowing what the future would hold. we had one contact in london and that was a family friend in portobello. after a week, i found a job for myself. that turned into three jobs. that was my primary mission, to be able to support my family members.
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always thinking i had to educate myself now i have the opportunity. the education began in earnest. he taught himself english and science and was soon studying for five a—levels at night school. by now, he was also looking after his younger brother who had come tojoin him in london. but nothing was going to deter him. five a grades were good enough to get him an interview for a place at trinity hall cambridge. when i came to my interview i didn't even know how to do up my tie. one of the parents of another student, iasked him if he could help me with the tie. he helped me. after a few days, i received a letter and the letter said, we are very delighted to offer you a place to study medicine at cambridge university.
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i think that was one of the happiest days of my life. certainly. hi, i'm a doctor from kabul. nice to meet you. do you have a case to discuss today? yes we have one important case i want to discuss. today they have a challenge for us, a very unusual case. some gynaecologists may never see such a case in their career. this is where we learn from our side as well. we discuss such cases among a group of specialists here. we go back and look at literature and then we give them the best advice we can. they are also competent clinicians. the problem lies in a lack of resources. and sometimes a lack of experience in some cases which are not
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that straightforward. waheed's network of volunteer consultants and surgeons has grown to around 100. he's clearly very persuasive. he is particularly good at engaging people's attention so what he does, he tells people about the plight of war—torn countries and the lack of medical facilities. he is very enthusiastic about getting people involved, to the point that he has spread his net quite widely. he has identified a clinical need, radiology is pivotal to the management of all cases which come into hospital, particularly in an area where there is poverty or a war zone and it is complicated stuff. we all need some help when we are working as a team in any hospital so it is no surprise those working in afghanistan have to ask for help when it gets complicated.
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there are some places where telemedicine is the only life support for beleaguered doctors. north east afghanistan represents the front line of the battle with the taliban here in 2015, a trauma centre was destroyed in error by a us bomb strike which killed 42 people. normal rules do not apply here. translation: sometimes we get a patient who comes in with 20 or more guards and may threaten the doctors. the doctors are not safe. we need emergency help. we receive help from dr arian's team. they diagnose cases were not able to solve due to the lack of right equipment. we send our examinations to them and they give us
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further advice. we thank them from the bottom of our hearts because they help selflessly and they have helped in this war—torn region. waheed is back in london for an important meeting tomorrow morning but overnight, the calls keep coming in. the next day, he meets the most senior doctor in the uk, sir bruce keough, the medical director of the national health service. he wants to here more about waheed's work and what the nhs can learn from it. grab a seat. he brings enormous simplicity to the approach and i think that is a lot we can learn from that. i hope by bringing together the experiences of other people that have tried similar things around the nhs along with waheed, that we can use the uptake
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of technology for the benefit of patients. we are getting a glimpse of the future here and what he is doing represent something which is very special. health care systems around the world constrained by the national boundaries, the art, the science and the value of medicine no known national boundaries. if any acknowledges that it is down to waheed's work. the simple everyday communication methods which so impressed sir bruce are the mainstay of waheed's work. he is also keen to push boundaries. he wanted to try an augmented reality telemedicine call to afghanistan — something which has not been done before so we teamed him up to the bbc technology unit
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to explore the potential. they will be able to see that as well? yes. fantastic. at a training theatre in hospital, he wears an augmented reality headset and uses a mannequin to demonstrate details of a hospital procedure. he can see the doctors in kabul while 4,000 miles away, they can see the augmented reality he is conjuring up in his headset. i will take the arrow and place it on the mouth of the mannequin. then we make sure that the spine or neck vertebrae are intact. we check the patient from head to two to make sure there are no injuries, broken necks or open fractures. we also check the temperature of the patients. it went very well,
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we discussed the medical case and solve the problem. it was a live problem from the hospital in couple. we discussed it and managed the problem. that is the future of telemedicine. we can advise and educate. waheed is already working with hospitals in syria and has plans to expand into kashmir, iraq and parts of africa. he is working with some sectors of the nhs to help enhance patient care and medical training here in the uk. one casualty is any semblance of a normal family life. now i am doing this charity work from my living room and i am on the move 21w. my mobile phone is with me. i coordinate all the activities in afghanistan, almost all activities in syria.
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yes, he is away a lot, it can be hard and it can be lonely when you see other families out, you think it would be nice to have my husband home. on the other side, i know he is doing amazing things for humanity. he will be saving thousands of lives so i look at the positives, i have a great life and what about the people who would love to have what we have. shortly after waheed's visit to afghanistan, his bbc driver mohammed nazir was killed in a massive explosion which claimed over 150 lives and injured hundreds more. waheed and his team were once again called into action, their work providing yet another glimpse of the medical future brought to afghanistan by a survivor of its troubled past. when i see the war—torn areas in kabul, it brings back
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the memory of my childhood. i am happy i can go back and help. that is my therapy. what we need now is urgent support the technology. we have come a long way in just two years and we are helping in places which have no other support. this is so important. lives are at stake. we can help save those lives. we cannot do it on our own. deep evening and night it will be dry and clear. and chilly. the towns and cities will see temperatures
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holding up above double figures because we have the heat. in the countryside, they would dip down to low single figures. because we have the heat. in the countryside, they would dip down to low single figures. a crisp start tomorrow morning, a bright one for most of us but it won't last. again, showery rain in northern ireland, north—west scotland and england. further east, dry and bright with cloud. in light is up in northern ireland in the afternoon. it will yield cool, warmest where we have a lengthy spells of sunshine in the south—east but it does look u nsettled south—east but it does look unsettled into next week. we will see you later.
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