Featured Story from Iraq
Medical City Center
University of Baghdad
Dedication of WiRED Medical Information Center
June 24, 2003

Presentation by Gary W. Selnow, Ph.D.
Executive Director, WiRED International

I am pleased to be here today to participate in the dedication of a Center that will provide medical professional in Iraq with new tools of healthcare information. These computers, and the extensive medical libraries they contain, will provide a resource that we trust will enable the fine doctors and students of this teaching hospital to contribute even more to the health and well-being of their patients.

These computers -the Centers, the CDs, the monitors and the other electronic components that power these extraordinary machines-are the most inanimate, non-human of tools. Yet, in an odd way, they are quite organic and very much involved with life.

For one, they offer a tool for people to help people-doctors to help doctors. Medical professionals around the world have participated in the development of the information available in these CD medical libraries and through these computers the physicians from other places will share their knowledge and research and experiences with physicians here. Very soon, with the re-introduction of the Internet to Iraq, doctors in this teaching hospital, too, --no doubt through these very machines-will again share their knowledge and research and experience with doctors around the world. These are tools for human contact and for human education.

Another reason these facilities become more than inanimate objects is that the information they bear is ever growing and changing. We are constantly updating these databases with the latest medical developments and with the newest diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. As I noted, when the proper systems are in place, we will connect this computer network to the Internet, an extraordinary tool that is ever changing and growing. The organic quality of the information these computers will provide today and tomorrow is something remarkable.

Finally, and of greatest importance, the information that will flow through these computers will help save human lives. These computers will equip Iraqi physicians to help people live better, healthier lives; and soon this equipment will enable the wisdom of Iraqi doctors to be carried beyond the borders of this country and so contribute to the health and well-being of people around the world.

So, while we gather today to cut the ribbon on inanimate computers and monitors and CDs, we are dedicating tools that, in the final analysis, are fundamentally very much about life-about the human body, the human mind and the human spirit.

The volunteers of WiRED International helped organize this effort, and the Global Technology Corps of the U.S. Department of State contributed to the development of this Center. At its heart, this Medical Information Center-and others like it that we are installing at teaching hospitals elsewhere in Iraq-are gifts from the people of the United States to the people of Iraq. We wish you good, healthy and productive lives.

Related Story:
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