Letter: Caring for Kosovo

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The Independent Culture
Sir: International Health Exchange (IHE)is a charity which specialises in recruiting health workers to work in humanitarian aid and relief operations. We are recruiting experienced medics and nurses with public health skills and experience of refugees to work with the British government and UNHCR in Albania to deal with the portending refugee crisis. People must be ready to leave within 24-48 hours.

IHE holds a list of people recruited for this purpose and has already found eight who are willing and able to go to Albania.

However, there are others on the list who cannot go, some for personal reasons, others because their pre-negotiated release agreements are not water-tight - perhaps they have just started a new job or they have more than one employer; perhaps their employer, though in principle willing to let them go, does not have the capacity to organise locums to cover their posts whilst they are away. Perhaps there are not sufficient locums available to take on their often highly specialised roles.

This is a big crisis and will require a big response. Our ability to organise that response depends not only on the commitment of those experienced aid workers who measure up to the jobs on the ground, but on the goodwill of those who employ and manage them in their regular jobs - the National Health Service.

ALICE TLIGUI

Director, International Health Exchange

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