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Breakfast In Venice – Irish Friends Of Albania

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Breakfast In Venice

Fundraising For Irish Friends of Albania

Full Irish Breakfast at Venice Restaurant from 9am to 1130 am on Saturday. €15 pp or all donations gratefully accepted.

Irish Friends Of Albania

Our projects for the rest of 2018 are:  – upgrade of the Solar Heating Systems of 5 Homes …

Irish Friends of Albania – Charity Breakfast in Venice, October 13th, 2018

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Charity Breakfast in Venice, October 13th. We are hosting a Charity Breakfast to support the visit of our volunteer construction team to Albania.

Thanks to Ilir and Saimir of Venice for offering to prepare a full Irish Breakfast from 9am to 11:30 am on Saturday October 13th at Venice on Abbeygate Street.

All are very welcome, tickets are €15. Please invite your friends and you can book a table for any number from 1 to 20. Contact 086 3958589 for tickets.

All proceeds will support the visit of John Kehoe and his volunteer team who travel to Albania in November to carry out upgrades on the solar water heating systems and bathrooms in 5 homes for Children, Disable Children and the Elderly throughout Albania.

John and his team installed these systems during the period 2009 to 2013. These systems provide hot water to over 200 children and vulnerable people every day. The visit will take place in November, in order to have all systems fully services ahead of the winter.

 

 

Audited Accounts for 20016, now available to view

audit-300x300Audited Accounts for 20016,now available to view.
We have now posted our audit for 2016 to our website. Mazars of Salthill completed this audit and we are very grateful for their long standing support. All our supporters and the general public are welcome to view the accounts. Our greatest supporters are you the general public which supports all our work and Irish Aid which supported our medical collaboration with Mother Theresa University Hospital. Irish Friends of Albania Financial_Statements_2016

Click here to see it: Irish Friends of Albania Audit 2016

Irish Friends Friends of Albania Ltd 2016

IFoA Financial Statements 2016

Chairman Mr Jack McCann conducts Microsurgery Course and is awarded Honorary Professorship

Our Chairman Mr Jack McCann was conferred with a Honorary Professorship of Mother Theresa University Hospital in April 2018. This conferral took place during the delivery of a course in Microsurgery by Jack and fellow Albanian surgeons. The course took place in the Microsurgery Laboratory established with our support. Jack and all at the charity were touched and delighted by this honour which recognises 13 years of support from Ireland to Mother Theresa University Hospital.

jackPictured at the conferral of the Honorary Professorship of Mother Theresa University Hospital to Mr Jack McCann are Prof. Dr. Xheladin Dracini, Dean of Medicine of Tirana University, Mr Jack McCann and Prof. Dr. Mentor Petrela, chief of Neurosurgery, MTUH.

Next Microsurgery Training mission will take in November 2017

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After sharing experience and learning with colleagues in the Balkans in the International Conference on “Contemporary Treatment of Dentofacial Deformities” in Prishtina, Kosova in June 2017, Mr. Jack McCann, the Chairman of Irish Friends of Albania, will travel to Albania for the next microsurgery training mission which will take in November 2017 in the microsurgery laboratory in Mother Theresa University Hospital, Tirana. Mr Jack McCann will make his fourth training visit to this centre which Irish Friends of Albania have established with support from Irish Aid and most recently Electric Aid.

Up to 25 surgeons from Albania and Kosova will participate in the training which will improve their skills and knowledge of micro-surgery. They come from all specialties of surgery . Mr McCann will also liaise with Tirana University on its plans to include microsurgery within the curriculum of the Faculty of Medicine.

Friends-of-Albania-Microscopes1Essential items needed to support this trip are sutures, micro instruments and Irish Friends of Albania is very grateful to medical companies and hospitals which can assist with their supply.

The courses entailed end to end anastomosis of arteries and veins, end to side anastomosis, vein grafts, nerve repair and nerve grafting. These were basic courses and it is necessary that each participant practice as much as possible in order to maintain their skills before they embark on real cases. They will be able to attend refresher courses in time. There is already a large waiting list for the workshop training. Our intention is to provide more microscopes and instruments to facilitate the training of more surgeons in each Microsurgery course, who will then bring the skills to their own units to the benefit of their patients.

In Octocber 2015, Mayor of Galway, Frank Fahy met with Albanian doctors at this Microsurgery Training Laboratory in Tirana, and after that in June 2016: Mayor Frank Fahy’s Mayoral Ball Contributed €3,000 to Irish Friends of Albania.Microscope Laboratory Entrance

Sharing Our Experience and Learning with Colleagues in the Balkans

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Kosova Surgeon Reattaches a Patient’s Finger – Busy Autumn for Microsurgery in the Balkans

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2Kosova Surgeon Reattaches a Patient’s Finger – Busy Autumn for Microsurgery in the Balkans

It has been a busy and very productive time for microsurgery in the Balkans. Our chairman Mr Jack McCann visited Mother Theresa Univeristy Hospital in September to deliver the third microsurgery course in the Microsurgery Laboratory which we have helped to establish in 2014.

Eight surgeons from Albania, Kosova and Macedonia completed the training course during the week.  This brings to 44 the number of surgeons who have completed the course over the past 2 years.

The addition of a third microscope, with the support of Electric Aid in 2015, has been a great boost to the courses. The course is a hands on course and therefore the trainees need as much time on the microscope as possible.

Following the course Mr McCann was invited to This November Mr McCann presented a paper “The Importance of Microsurgery in Reconstruction” & “Head and Neck Reconstruction” to the International Conference of Plastic Surgery hosted by Pristina University Hospital with participation from 7 countries of the Balkans and Southern Europe.

The highlight of the conference was a presentation by the young Kosovar surgeon Dr. Ylber Zejnullahu from Pristina University Hospital. Ylber presented his experience on reattaching the finger of a patient who lost it in an accident in Pristina. Ylber’s training in the microsurgery laboratory made this operation possible.1

June 2016: Mayor Frank Fahy’s Mayoral Ball Contributed €3,000 to Irish Friends of Albania

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We were delighted to be a beneficiary of the Mayor Frank Fahy’s Mayoral Ball in June. The Ball contributed €3,000 to our voluntary work. 

Twenty seven supporters of our charity joined the 200 guests on the night at the Radisson and were treated to a wonderful night of company, dining and top class entertainment. It was an honour to be asked to speak about our charitable work to the guests and we are full of admiration for all the charities supported by the event. Special thanks to Mary Bennett and the organisation team who did such an excellent job with the preparations and on the night itself. We ourselves organised 8 Charity Balls over the years and we appreciate all the hard work and commitment of the organisers._MG_2605

We are deeply grateful to Mayor Fahy for his great interest in Albania and the historic step of visiting as Mayor of Galway. This recognises and builds the relationship between Galway and Albania. We hope he now gets some much deserved rest after a hectic year as Mayor and wish his successor Noel Larking every success.

Attachment of first Irish Medical Students to Mother Theresa University Hospital, Tirana

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Irish Friends of Albania was delighted to assist in the arrangements of the attachments of two medical undergraduate students from Trinity College Dublin to Mother Theresa University Hospital, Tirana for the Summer months. Traditionally many undergraduates use the Summer to visit foreign hospitals for attachments. They gain invaluable experience of new environments, often very challenging due to lack of resources, they see patients with conditions which are less common here in Ireland and they make friends with their colleagues which they often maintain throughout their careers.

This Summer Irish Friends of Albania assisted Granit Ismaili and Josephine Fitzpatrick to undergo an attachment in the General Surgery, Neurosurgery and Plastic Surgery Units of Mother Theresa University Hospital, Tirana, where we have a long collaboration.

The attachment was extra special for Granit as he is Irish and Albanian so he was able to return to Albania where he spent his early childhood years.

The students have been delighted with their attachment to date and will report fully on their experience in the Autumn. Special thanks to all the Albanian personnel who welcomed them and to Profesors Dracini, Petrela and Belba for facilitating the visit.

Microsurgery Training Mission

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The next microsurgery training mission will take from September 19th to 24th in the microsurgery laboratory in Mother Theresa University Hospital, Tirana. Mr Jack McCann will make his third training visit to this centre which Irish Friends of Albania have established with support from Irish Aid and most recently Electric Aid.

Up to 20 surgeons from Albania and Kosova will participate in the training which will improve their skills and knowledge of micro-surgery. They come from all specialties of surgery . Mr McCann will also liaise with Tirana University on its plans to include microsurgery within the curriculum of the Faculty of Medicine.

Essential items needed to support this trip are sutures, micro instruments and Irish Friends of Albania is very grateful to medical companies and hospitals which can assist with their supply.

November 2015 Visit to the Microsurgery Training Centre in Albania

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Twelve surgeons attended the third Microsurgery Workshop held in Tirana during the first week of November 2015.

There were 2 Neurosurgeons from Kosovo, 1 Orthopaedic/Hand Surgeon and 1 Maxillofacial Surgeon from Albania.

There were 8 local General Surgery trainees also on the Course. These were the first General Surgeons to attend the Course.

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Click here to see more photos

We delivered a third teaching microscope the previous week, paid for with the sponsorship of Electric Aid and funds raised by the Irish Friends of Albania Fashion Show held in Galway in April of this year. We also gifted some more micro instruments, clamps and micro sutures essential for the Course.

These were very gratefully accepted by the head of the Neurosurgery Department, Professor Mentor Petrela and Doctor Ridvan who is in charge of Microsurgery. We once again had the assistance of Dr Sokol Isaraj of the Plastic Surgery Department and Doctor Gramos who helped in the Unit. All the participants did very well and feel that the Course is essential for all surgeons. It will soon be on the curriculum of surgical training through the University of Tirana.

During the week, I met with Professor Ramazan Isufi of the Maxillofacial Surgery Department . He told me he has the honour of organising and hosting the 2016 European Conference in Maxillofacial Surgery for the first time in Tirana. He has invited me to speak at the Conference and the date is yet to be confirmed.

My wife Moya also came to Albania with me, her first visit in 5 years. She and Margalina Sina went to the State run Children’s Homes in Shkodra and Tirana . There they met the new Director in each Home and are happy to report that the Solar and plumbing projects installed by the volunteer construction team of Irish Friends of Albania are all working well and the children and staff are delighted. The Directors are both very progressive and ambitious for the children. We wish them every success.

Jack McCann
Chairman, Irish Friends of Albania

 

 

 

 

Mayor of Galway, Frank Fahy met with Albanian doctors at the Microsurgery Training Laboratory in Tirana

frank-fahy-700x357Mayor of Galway, Frank Fahy met with Albanian doctors at the Microsurgery Training Laboratory in Tirana
Mayor of Galway Cllr. Frank Fahy visited Albania from 4-8 October 2015. He is the first Irish mayor to ever visit Albania, which is a former communist eastern bloc country.
During his visit to Albania Mayor Fahy, visited, Kamza city and met with the Mayor of this city Mr.Xhelal Mziu. On Monday October 5th, Mayor Fahy met with the Mayor of Albania’s capital city Tirana, Mr. Erion Veliaj and the Deputy Mayor of this city Ms. Brunilda Paskali. After that he visited Shkdra city, were he met the Mayor of Shkodra city Ms. Voltana Ademi. During his visit he also met with the Advisor to the Albanian President, for Local Government Affairs, Mr. Ylli Asllani, with the deputy leader of the Democratic Party of Albania, Prof. Edmond Spaho,and with the former Prime Minister of Albania, Prof. Sali Berisha.
Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Frank Fahy continued his visit with a meeting with some Albanian doctors at the Microsurgery Training Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery at Mother Theresa University Hospital in Tirana. This ​ ​facility has been supported by Irish Friends of Albania with the funding support of Irish Aid and Electric Aid and Mr. Jack McCann of Galway has helped to establish this as an invaluable training facility for surgeons in the Balkans.
Friends-of-Albania-Microscopes1Mayor Fahy also visited the Albanian International School (AIS), in Tirana, which is a model international school offering a broad, challenging and stimulating educational program to students from diverse language and cultural backgrounds. He visited Durres city and town of Kruja which is the town of the biggest National Museum in this country, dedicated to Albania’s National hero George Kastrioti. During his trip to Albania he also visited the museum of Shkodra and this city’s famous 4th Century BC Castle of Rozafa. A very emotional visit for Mayor Fahy was the visit he paid to the home where the family of Mother Theresa of Calcutta used to live in Shkodra city, in Northern Albania.
During his visit, Mayor Fahy was accompanied by Mr. Ndrek Gjini, a member of the Board of Directors of Irish Friends of Albania.

Irish Friends of Albania 2015 AGM on Monday 6th July at 8pm

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Irish Friends of Albania 2015 AGM

Irish Friends of Albania will hold its Annual General Meeting on Monday 6th July at 8pm. Meeting will take place at 15 University Road, Galway.  All are welcome to attend.  We look forward to seeing you there.

April 2015 Microsurgery Training

Microscope Laboratory Entrance

The second and third Microsurgery training workshops were completed in the week of 13th–18th April 2015 in the Microsurgery Training Laboratory in the Neurosurgical Department of the Mother Theresa University Hospital in Tirana, Albania. The teaching was by Dr Ridvan from the Neurosurgery Department, Dr Sokol Isaraj from the Plastic Surgery Department and myself, Mr Jack McCann from Galway. We had 3 Microscope Stations and we trained 6 Maxillofacial Surgeons, 3 Plastic Surgeons and 2 Neurosurgeons from Kosovo and also 2 Neurosurgeons from Macedonia. This group of 13 combined with the 12 from 2014 brought our total so far to 22 (as 3 had already attended a partial course.) They were very enthusiastic and showed good microsurgical skills.
The courses entailed end to end anastomosis of arteries and veins, end to side anastomosis, vein grafts, nerve repair and nerve grafting. These were basic courses and it is necessary that each participant practice as much as possible in order to maintain their skills before they embark on real cases. They will be able to attend refresher courses in time. There is already a large waiting list for the workshop training. Our intention is to provide more microscopes and instruments to facilitate the training of more surgeons in each Microsurgery course, who will then bring the skills to their own units to the benefit of their patients.
These courses are currently being provided free of charge and are being sponsored by Irish Friends of Albania and the Neurosurgery Department of Mother Theresa Hospital. The normal cost of such a course in the UK is approximately £1500 sterling per person, plus flights and accommodation.
We intend to continue the training courses with Professor Mentor Petrela (of the Neurosurgery Department) and the Dean of the Medical School, who are in the process of putting Microsurgical training on the Curriculum for all surgical trainees.

Jack McCann, F.R.C.S.I., B.Sc.,
Consultant Plastic Surgeon (retired)
Chairman, Irish Friends of Albania

Irish Friends of Albania Fashion Show Raises €9000

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Irish Friends of Albania Fashion Show Raises €9000

A wonderful celebration of Fashion and fun was enjoyed by approximately 250 guests at the Galway Bay Hotel on Wednesday 22nd April. The Reception was sponsored by Butlers Chocolates, Sweet Treats by Fiona and by the Hotel. Martina Regan was there to take photos of the ladies dressed in their finest before the latest designs were unveiled by Ail Ruin, Brown Thomas, Colette Latchford, Emily Jean Designs, Flanagan Footwear, Fusion Fashion, Galway Hat Shop, Garments, Joanne’s Boutique of Killaloe, Kilkenny, Optique Opticians, Standun and Treasure Chest. Our guests had an opportunity to explore the interesting exhibits which included Aloe Vera from Marian Charlton, Anne Marie’s Boutique of Tuam, Emily Jean Designs, Motivation Weight Management, Renaissance Hair Salon, Stella & Dot Jewellery by Susie Heaslip, University Pharmacy and Wrapsody Gift Shop of Moycullen. The audience was entertained by hilarious comedian Frank Forde at the interval and were very generous in their support of the exciting Raffle. Wonderful prizes were sponsored by Anne Marie’s Boutique, Anthony Ryan, Belleek Living, Brigid Brophy, Brown Thomas, Colette Latchford, Da Robertas, David Martin Hair Salon, Design House Barna, Dock No 1, Don’t Call Me Dear, Emily Jean Designs, Euphoria, Foxford Jewellery, Galway Bay Hotel, Glengowla Mines, Hanley Menswear, Hartmann’s, Kildare Village, Koztello Hair Salon, Lazlo Jewellery, Matt O’Flaherty Chemist, McSharry’s Pharmacy, Natural Beauty Therapy, O’Beirn’s Pharmacy, Optique Opticians, Premoli, Rennaissance Hair Salon, Seavite, Standun, Tangles Hair Salon, The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Westwood Hotel and Zip Yard. We are very grateful to all our other sponsors including Fiesta House in Ennis, GBFM, Image Magazine, Ndrek Gjini, Renaissance Hair Salon, Sara Duffy, St Mary’s College School of Music and to the volunteers from St Mary’s College who helped to keep the evening flowing smoothly. MC Dermot Langan and Catwalk Model Agency were most professional in their production of a fabulous Show and were aided by 4 brave doctors from Galway University Hospital who modelled menswear from Brown Thomas! We extend our sincere thanks to all who supported this fundraising event and to those who sent generous donations. The funds raised will help greatly with our work in the Micro-surgery Laboratory in Mother Theresa University Hospital in Tirana. With your help we have raised €9000!

Click here to see photos 

 

Fashion Show on April 22nd 2015 at Galway Bay Hotel

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The Fashion Show in aid of Irish Friends of Albania is on next Wednesday at Galway Bay Hotel, starting with an elaborate reception at 7.15pm sponsored by Butlers Chocolate, Galway Bay Hotel, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and Sweet Treats by Fiona.  We will have complimentary gift bags from University Pharmacy and Image magazines for all!   We will have a local business exhibition to include Aloe Vera by Marion Charlton, Anne Marie’s Boutique in Tuam, Emily Jean Designs, Fiesta House Ennis, Motivation Weight Management, Pia, Renaissance Hair Salon and Nail Bar, Stella and Dot Jewellery, University Pharmacy, and Wrapsody of Moycullen. An exciting array of fashions from Galway’s leading stores and from as far away as Killaloe will be modelled by Catwalk Model Agency…see our poster for a full list!

At the interval our guests will have an opportunity to buy Raffle tickets…these prizes are too good to miss!  Our generous Raffle sponsors include Anne Marie’s Boutique, Belleek Living, Brown Thomas, Colette Latchford, David Martin Hair Salon, Dock number 1, Da Robertas, Emily Jean Designs, Faller’s Jewellers,  Foxford Jewellery, Galway Bay Hotel, Glengowla Mines, Hartmann’s, Havana, Kildare Village, Lazlo Jewellery, Natural Beauty Therapy, Optique Opticians,  Premoli, Rennaissance Hair Salon,  Seavite, Tangles Hair Salon,  The Lodge at Ashford Castle and Westwood Hotel. Comedy from the inimitable Frank Forde will open Part 2 of the Show.  We are very grateful to all our sponsors for their support and we hope that everyone will enjoy the evening!

Tickets for 25 euro are still available from participating shops, Galway Bay Hotel and from Moya 087-8291916. Don’t miss a great evening of fun and Fashion!

April 2015 Visit to Tirana

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April 2015 Visit to Tirana

 Mr Jack McCann will travel to Tirana soon to assist with the second and third Microsurgery Training Courses in Mother Teresa University Hospital.  These will take 6 trainees per course bringing the total number to 24 since the Microsurgery Training Laboratory opened in July 2014.  Irish Friends of Albania is currently fundraising to purchase a third new training microscope to donate to the Laboratory.

Our 8th Fashion Show on April 22nd 2015

2015 Poster

Galway Bay Hotel
Wednesday 22nd April 2015

We will have amazing collections from Ail Ruin, Brown Thomas, Colette Latchford, Design House Barna, Emily Jean Designs, Flanagan Footwear, Fusion Fashion, Galway Hat Shop, Garments, Joanne’s Fashion House, Kilkenny, Optique Opticians, Standun and Treasure Chest. Mandy Maher of Catwalk Model Agency will co-ordinate the Show and we will have Hospital Consultant Doctors as our male models showing menswear from Brown Thomas.
Thanks to all our sponsors including Renaissance Hair Salon, Sara Duffy Make-up, Fiesta House Ennis and Galway Bay Hotel.
Tickets will be available from participating shops, from Galway Bay Hotel and from Moya 087-8291916. Tickets will cost 25 euro, for which our guests will enjoy a Cheese & Wine reception sponsored by Butlers Chocolates, Seamus Sheridan and Simply Divine Cakes; gift bags from University Pharmacy; complimentary IMAGE magazines; a great Fashion & Jewellery  Exhibition; comedy with Frank Forde; a generous Raffle and a wonderful Fashion Show!

Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year

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I would like to wish all our volunteers, directors, fundraisers, sponsors and collaborators a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year and to thank them all for their support.

I would especially like to thank Michael Gannon, who has been our Administrator since our Charity was founded in 2005.

Michael has recently stepped down but remains with us as a volunteer. He has given unstintingly of his time and expertise over the years and I wish him well.
Jack McCann, F.R.C.S.I., B.Sc.
Plastic Surgeon
Chairman Irish Friends of Albania

Surgical and Training Visit to Kosova and Albania

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Surgical and Training Visit to Kosova and Albania
In early December our chairman Mr.Jack McCann visited the Maxillo-Facial Surgery Unit of Pristina University Hospital, Kosova. This unit is now under the direction of Professor Sami Salihiu since the retirement of Professor Osman Sejfiya who also met Jack a couple of times on this trip. Jack also visited the Plastic Surgery Department under Professor Hysni. There together with the local team he operated on some patients; two patients had large facial cancers and one child had a large fibroma on his nose. Jack also saw 2 patients with congenital absence of an ear; these are planned for reconstruction in 2015.
fotoThe Plastic Surgery Department has plans for a new unit; the main challenge is that the cost is close to €2 million. The total health budget for Kosova is €86 million euro for a population of 2 million people. This compares to over €12 billion euro for a population of 4 million in Ireland. In other words the health budget per capita is €3,000 in Ireland and just €43 in Kosova.
Jack travelled from Pristina to Tirana with Doctor Fellanza Gjinolli of the Maxillo-Facial Department and her husband Talat, a neurosurgeon. Their route went by way of Macedonia; this was Jack’s first visit to another very beautiful country.
The main occasion of Mr McCann visit to Albania was the International Maxillo-Facial Surgery Conference in Tirana organised by Professor Ramazan Isufi. Jack presented 2 papers at the conference; “Collaboration of Irish Friends of Albania with Mother Teresa University Hospital over the past 10 years” and “Maxillary Distraction – a case presentation”. The conference was a major international training event with 3 speakers from Germany, 2 from Italy, some from Kosovo and Macedonia as well as many local speakers from Tirana.
Professor Mentor Petrela of the Neurosurgery Department welcomed Jack back and the surgeons made plans for the next Microsurgery Workshop in April 2015. Irish Friends of Albania presented the training with some more micro instruments which are needed for training. A meeting was held with the new Dean of Medicine of Tirana University to discuss the strengthening of Microsurgery Training on the Surgery Curriculum.
Lina Sina, our part-time administrator in Albania, again was of immense help as translator and organiser. So it is time now to prepare for the April 2015 trip!