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From the Bronx to Baghdad: Helping Physicians Help Children

Dr. Huma Naqvi, Albert Einstein College of MedicineEditors’ NoteWhen she heard about dearth of rehabilitation facilities for children in war-torn Iraq, Dr. Huma Naqvi, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an attending physician at Montefiore Medical Center, Einstein’s University Hospital, decided that she had to find a way to help, even if she couldn’t physically travel there.

Using cellular communications, she teamed up with a friend, Dr. Batul Ladak, to exchange images and messages with personnel at Baghdad’s Medical City Hospital. Via telemedicine, the two doctors consulted with their peers about rehab techniques, analyzed the problems of patients and prescribed exercises.

Eventually, Dr. Naqvi sought a more hands-on approach. She began traveling to Iraq in 2012 on visits where she could provide in-person support and consultations with physicians and therapists.  “I’ve seen children without crutches, canes or wheelchairs who have been carried for miles by their parents so that they can access the specialized medical care that is only available in the major cities. There is such a need to fill,” she said.

While the visit proved fruitful, she felt she needed to do more.

In an inspiring mission, Dr. Naqvi secured a microgrant from Einstein’s Global Health Center that is helping to support a training program that’s making a difference.


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