LCW GP Dr Mostafa Salmani is proud to have been part of a bespoke medical team drawn together to triage exhausted, hungry, traumatised refugees from Afghanistan at Heathrow T4 recently.
During the last days in August, the airport was used as a refugee processing centre welcoming between five and six flights a day carrying more than 1,000 refugee passengers between them.
Dr Salmani worked alongside colleagues from London Ambulance Service, Practice Plus Group, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and others to offer health checks, vital assistance, and medication to all refugees requiring it. Children and other high-risk groups, embassy staff and army personnel were among those requiring urgent medical assistance.
Dr Salmani explained: ”Many refugees hadn’t even had time to grab their medication before fleeing their homes. Many were still traumatised; many having escaped after the bombing. They were exhausted, in many cases still wearing the clothes they fled in and most were extremely hungry after days without food. But all were grateful to have escaped Kabul.
“My colleagues and I responded to immediate medical concerns, providing medication and each day a handful of passengers had to go to hospital. The operation was enormous.
“I was delighted to be there and to be able to give this vital medical support. It was rewarding work and extremely hands on.”
The operation was coordinated by NHS England and North West London NHS and also included the army, police, Heathrow Airport Healthcare, Hillingdon Hospital and the British Red Cross.
(Photo: Dr Salmani is pictured 2nd from the right)