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Dear list members, Here's some information from Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar in Baghdad about a project regarding medical journals in Iraq which might be of interest. Seb ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 21:37:57 +0300 From: Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Seb Wills <email@example.com> Subject: Medical Journals to Iraq Dear Seb I am taking the liberty to send you a copy of a letter I am send to doctors I meet in Baghdad. I hope some CASI members could take an active part in this project. I am sure that the knowledge that "scientific" sanctions could shock some members. I leave it to your judgment if this subject is to be put to the list. Best regards Ghazwan Dear Dr. Further to the discussion we had in Baghdad concerning the "scientific and cultural sanctions", which is imposed on the medical doctors in Iraq, I would like to make the following observations: 1- Iraqi doctors who are members of medical societies in the UK, for example, have not received their copies of the medical journals since 1991 even if they have paid their dues to these societies. 2- Similarly Medical college libraries have not received their copies either. They can not renew their subscription because of the “postal restriction” imposed on Iraq. I am told that professional societies need a very restrictive “license to communicate”, if given, with Iraqi colleges. The above two resulted in libraries with no new medical journals. This 12 to 13 years “gulf of knowledge” has affected the quality of medical care and medical education in Iraq. 3- In an effort to bridge this gap I have taken a personal initiative to discuss the situation with Mr. Francis Dubois, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Baghdad. The UNDP have agreed to help in assisting us. The attached is my report of my visit to UNDP and Mr. Dubois reply to it. 4- After several meetings with the deans of medical schools and Mr. Dubois it was clear that the best way to bridge the gap is by creating the “electronic medical journal library”. Filling the empty journal shelves of the libraries with printed version of the missing journals would be next to impossible due to the weight and volume. On the other hand medical journals on a CD format are small, compact and light weight and can easily sent to Baghdad. 5- The University of Al-Mustanseria medical college was selected to setup a pilot project. A preliminary survey indicated that the college has the majority of the hardware (computers) which we could build on to create a college wide medical journal network 6- I would appreciate if you can help with assisting us in obtaining copies of the medical journals in CD format to be incorporated into the library. I am sure you might know doctors who have their personal CD copies of medical journals that they no longer use because of the internet. One would hope they can donate these extra copies to help their colleagues over come this scientific isolation. 7- By providing the doctors with the right "computer" content these doctors will use the computers more which will help them to become more computer literate. An added benefit. 8- UNDP undertook to let us use their postal address in New York to transport the CD's and books to Baghdad without going through the postal restrictions. I am sure many of your colleagues are not aware of this scientific sanctions and do not approve of it. I hope that their objection to it could be translated into some thing useful. I am will be very happy to answer any question you might have. Best regards, Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar Baghdad, Iraq firstname.lastname@example.org ==== Contents of attached report: ==== Report On Wednesday 9 July 2002 I had a personal meeting with Mr. Francis Dubois the Resident Representative of the UNDP office in Baghdad. I raised the problems of medical schools suffering from the lack of the medical Journals necessary for proper medical education and research. I pointed out that the sanctions since 1991 have deprived medical libraries of the medical journals. I pointed out that in order to overcome the 10-12 years shortage of the journals an effort should be made to bridge this gap by providing the medical libraries with the back issues of these journals in a CD format. Mr. Dubois was very interested in the idea and informed me that the UNDP will assist in this "project" and will very favorably consider any proposal submitted by the Iraqi side. Mr. Dubois introduced me to Mr. Rami Al- Baroudi the director of the UNDP Learning Resource Center where a much more through discussion was carried out. I have suggested to Mr. Baroudi three alternative ways to achieve these goals: 1- The UNDP will provide copies of CD's containing the back issues of the medical journals and distribute them to the medical colleges. The UNDP will cover the cost of the purchase and duplications. The UNDP will assist in the training on the use of the databases. The Iraqi side will provide the UNDP with a list of the journals. 2- The UNDP establish a "Electronic Journal Library Center" (EJLC) at each medical college. The EJLC will have a "central computer" to store most of the journals and be connected to several users' terminals. Access to the journals from terminals will minimize the physical handle and changing of the CD's. The UNDP will provide the necessary computers and associated hardware for the center. The UNDP will assist in the training of doctors and researchers on the use of computers and databases. The Iraqi side will provide to the UNDP the list of journals to be included as well as providing the appropriate space for setting up the center and the training class. 3- Each Teaching hospital will be provided with a computer dedicated for the electronic journals. Journals of interest to the doctors at each hospital will be installed on the computer. The UNDP will provide the computers and software and will assist in the training. The response that I got from Mr. Baroudi is that each of these proposals is within the capability of the UNDP and that they welcome any cooperation with the Iraqi side. On the subject of training Mr. Baroudi informed me that such training could take place at their training center or at a properly equipped center at the relevant ministry or college. This report is my personal recollection of the discussion and may or may not reflect the official views of the UNDP. This report is presented to probably lay the foundation for the project and to facilitate the exchange of ideas between the two sides. It is in no way a complete proposal. It has to be discussed and amended to best fit the needs of the two parties. I am in no way affiliated with the UNDP or any other party. It is my belief that the project is a step forward in breaking the scientific sanctions. Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar Tel: 717 1234 e-mail: email@example.com 13/07/2002 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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