Mesothelioma Day

Mesothelioma Support Group, Scotland - Mesothelioma Day


Resulting from a seminar which was organised by the British Lung Foundation in London earlier in the year it was decided that 27 February 2006 would be recognised as Mesothelioma Day.

In order to ensure that this day was a resounding success and achieved the required impact throughout the UK it was decided to organise an International Asbestos Conference in Clydebank Town Hall. The conference was held to promote the Mesothelioma Charter initiated by the British Lung Foundation and partner organisations. The International Asbestos Conference highlighted the world-wide health phenomenon, that is asbestos-related illness, through a faculty of internationally-renowned contributors invited from Europe, South Africa, Canada as well as outstanding speakers from the UK.

In addition to invited contributors the event experienced a unique level of community participation in the discussions which took place from asbestos support groups, cancer patients, bereaved relatives and other concerned interests. This input is retained within the recorded materials.

The conference was attended by 400 delegates and observers including; trade union officials, health & safety representatives, shop stewards, hazards campaigners, solicitors, people who have been affected by the scourge of asbestos, community activists and other interested parties. Clydebank Asbestos Group and supporting organisations agreed to make this event accessible for asbestos victims, bereaved relatives and other groups on limited incomes. There was no charge for attendance at the International Asbestos Conference.


Her Excellency Doctor Lindiwe Mabuza was born in Newcastle, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. She began her career in 1962 teaching English and Zulu Literature at Manzini Central School in Swaziland, followed by lecturing in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota.


Between 1969 and 1979 she became Assistant Professor of Literature and History at Ohio University and then moved to Zambia to take up a position as a radio journalist with the African National Congress's Radio Freedom. She was also Editor of the Voice of Women, a journal by African National Congress women, and Chairperson of the African National Congress Cultural Committee in Zambia. During the period 1979 to 1987 she represented the African National Congress in Scandinavian countries based in Sweden. She facilitated the opening of African National Congress offices in Denmark, Norway and Finland. From 1989 to 1994 she was the Chief Representative of the African National Congress to the United States and opened an office in Washington DC.


In 1994 she was a Member of the first democratic Parliament in South Africa.


In 1995 to 1999 she was Ambassador of the first democratic government to the Federal Republic of Germany. She was High Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam (non-resident) as well as Ambassador to the Phillipines (non-resident) 1999-2001. She became High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa in the United Kingdom in 2001.


She holds a BA Degree, a Diploma in Home Economics, an MA in English, an MA in American Studies, and a Diploma in Diplomatic Training. She also received an Honorary Degree of Doctor Philosphia from Durban Westville South Africa, and the Yari Yari Award for Human Rights and Literature from New York University. In 2003 she received an Honorary Doctorate from University of Edinburgh.


Publications include: "Malibongwe", "One Never Knows" - poetry and short stories by African National Congress Women; "From ANC to Sweden", "Letter to Letta", "Africa to me", "Voices that Lead" - poetry collections.


Rt Hon John McFall MP has been a Member of Parliament since 1987, representing Dumbarton until 2005 and currently represents the newly formed constituency of West Dunbartonshire. He is Chairman of the powerful Treasury Select Committee, as well as being a member on the Liaison Committee. He has held many other previous positions within the House of Commons and been a Minister at the Northern Ireland Office. John has been Opposition spokesman for Scottish Affairs and a Government Whip.


He has also been involved with several causes for asbestos victims, especially since representing his new West Dunbartonshire constituents many of whose families are afflicted by asbestos-related diseases. John, as most of you will know, takes a very close interest in those Parliamentary groups dealing with Asbestos within the House of Commons.


Councillor Andy White is Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council from May 2003 to present (previously 1997-2001), he has been an elected Councillor since 1995 and is convener of the COSLA working group on asbestos. He was heavily involved in producing the COSLA asbestos report and was responsible for organising the highly successful National Asbestos Conference in partnership with University of Stirling, Occupational & Environmental Health Research Group and COSLA. Andy has a special interest in health matters and is a Board Member of NHS Greater Glasgow.


In particular, due to the high incidence of asbestos-related illness in West Dunbartonshire he is involved in working with Clydebank Asbestos Group on various issues. He is also Chairman of Community Planning in West Dunbartonshire and a Board Member of Clydebank Rebuilt. Councillor White presented two papers at the recent Global Asbestos Conference in Tokyo; one was on the unwanted legacy of asbestos disease in shipbuilding areas and the second on asbestos in public buildings and the role of local government.


Doctor Jeremy P.C. Steele MD MRCP is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, The London Chest Hospital and Newham General Hospital. He is Co-Director of Bart’s Mesothelioma Research with Robin Rudd. He qualified in medicine at St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, and trained in general internal medicine and intensive care in London. Dr Steele was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research and Honorary Registrar at the Royal Marsden Hospital where he undertook research into childhood leukaemia and malignant brain tumours. He was awarded a doctorate for this work. In 1994 he treated his first mesothelioma patient at the Royal Marsden. He completed his medical oncology training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.


In 1999, Dr Steele was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Center. He was the recipient of the Sylvia Lawler Prize of the Royal Society of Medicine and the IASLC Young Investigator Award (both in 2000). In 2005 he established Bart’s Mesothelioma Research with Robin Rudd, Dean Fennell, Astero Klabatsa and Mike Sheaff. The group is focused on biological research into mesothelioma and excellence in the clinical management of the disease.


Dr Steele is a Trustee of the London Lung Cancer Group and a member of the MRC and NCRI Mesothelioma Groups. Since 2003 he has been a Medical Adviser to the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Asbestos Safety at the House of Commons. In 2004 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group. In 2005 Dr Steele joined the Department of Health’s Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Advisory Group and was elected Chairman of the National Macmillan Mesothelioma Resource Centre (Mesothelioma UK).


Professor Matthias Beck, M.Arch, M.U.P (Kansas), Ph.D (MIT), FRSA holds the Chair of Public Sector Management at the University of York. He formerly held posts as Professor of Risk Management at Glasgow Caledonian University, and as lecturer in economics at the Universities of St Andrews and Glasgow. His main areas of interest include governance and risk management with a special focus on occupational health and safety. Professor Beck has published on issues of safety regulation and has acted as expert witness to public inquiries.


Professor Andrew Watterson has worked on occupational health and safety subjects for three decades dealing with training, advocacy and research especially in Scotland, England and Central and Eastern Europe. He currently heads the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group at Stirling University.


He has particular interests in occupational cancer, chemicals, pesticides and the electronics industry. He was a member of the COSLA working party that recently prepared a report on asbestos and is currently a member of the local authority task group looking at the burden placed on local government through . He is a member of the Scottish Hazards Group. He is also a chartered health and safety practitioner.


Frank Maguire Solicitor Advocate is Senior Partner with Thompsons Personal Injury Solicitors Scotland. He specialises in personal injury and health & safety law and has considerable experience in dealing with accidents and diseases throughout his career of 23 years covering all sectors of industry and types of injuries. He is also a Solicitor Advocate.


Frank is the former President of the Society of Solicitor Advocates and is also on the panel for the Law Society of Scotland for Solicitors Advocacy. He has been heavily involved in the change in law in Scotland on fatal damages leading to the Damages (Scotland) Act 1993, campaigning and advising on CRU recoupment leading to the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997, and advising and campaigning on the Chester Street Liquidation leading to the ABI announcement for asbestos cases.


He was Counsel in a leading case in Scotland for fatal damages McManus –v- Babcock Energy Limited 1999 SC 569 SLT. He was also Lead Counsel in the Inner House case of Murray’s Executrix –v- The Greenock Dockyard Company Limited 2004 SLT 346 and then Counsel in the case of Cruickshank’s Executrix –v- Fairfield Rowan (2005) CSHO 1.


Ronald E Conway is a personal injury solicitor and a graduate of Glasgow University. He is the Senior Partner in the firm Bonnar & Co which now specializes in accident and injury claims, acting exclusively for pursuers. Ronnie pursues cases in both the Court of Session and Sheriff Courts throughout Scotland.


He has a special interest in industrial diseases and workplace injuries with a particular expertise in diseases involving asbestos, vibration white finger, industrial deafness and respiratory difficulties. He is a member of the Law Society of Scotland Judicial Procedure Committee.


He lectures widely on various aspects of personal injury law to solicitors and other professionals. He is the author of “Personal Injury Practice in the Sheriff Court” and contributes regularly to debates in the press and media. Mr. Conway is currently an Honorary Sheriff in the Sheriffdom of South Strathclyde Dumfries and Galloway.


Robert Dickie is a member of the Management Committee of Clydebank Asbestos Group and was elected Chairman following the death of the legendary Sam Irvine. Similar to many other people in West Dunbartonshire his family have badly been affected by asbestos. Some years ago at the age of 54 his younger brother Jackie was lost to mesothelioma.


Bob is a former shipyard worker who spent many years employed in the famous John Browns yard. He is famously known as one of the leaders of the UCS work-in which is one of the greatest chapters in Scottish working class history. A lifelong trade unionist he is a well respected figure in Clydebank and an able advocate for asbestos sufferers and bereaved relatives. Today he will make the conference aware of the work of asbestos campaigners in Scotland and raise a number of issues which can facilitate a discussion on matters which require urgent attention.


Des McNulty MSP was first elected in 1999 to the Scottish Parliament, representing the Clydebank and Milngavie constituency. Re-elected in 2003 he is currently Convener of the Finance Committee, the committee with the lead role in the financial scrutiny of the Scottish Executive's spending proposals.


Mr. McNulty has been a member of the Board of the Wise Group, an organisation highly regarded for its pioneering work in getting unemployed people into jobs. Des has worked closely with local asbestos victim support groups in Clydebank and Glasgow as they try to speed up justice for sufferers of mesothelioma and other dust diseases.


Before becoming an MSP, Des was head of Sociology at Glasgow Caledonian University and supports measures to provide support to reduce poverty and improve health both in the poorer countries and here in Scotland.


Tom McKendrick DA. RSW RGI is renowned as a Scottish multimedia artist and is internationally known. His work is in collections worldwide. He has a strong association with Clydebank Asbestos Group. He was born in Clydebank and is very proud of his ‘Bankie’ heritage.


The main body of his work is dedicated to a river and its people. That of course is the River Clyde so famous for its history of ships, shipyards and the workers who toiled within them. Tom’s art reflects his experience as a shipyard apprentice through to skilled journeyman. Presently he is working with asbestos campaigners to create an International Workers Memorial in memory of those affected by industrial injury and disease. It is intended that this monument will become a place of homage and contemplation for the people of the West of Scotland and the ‘industrially damaged’ of the greater world community.


The”Great Framebender” could be described as classic McKendrick. The artist, as a product of the community, has designed for its people a vision that they will understand and provide a focus for those who have suffered loss through asbestos exposure and other work-related malpractice. Clydebank Asbestos Group are proud to be the driving force behind this project and feel it will become a poignant symbol internationally for communities, like Clydebank, which have been so badly affected by industrial injury and disease.


Doctor Helen Clayson is clinical director of Saint Mary’s Hospice, Ulverston in South Cumbria. She has a strong interest in the plight of patients with mesothelioma related to asbestos exposure in the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard and heavy engineering industry which prompted her to investigate the disease from the perspective of patients and their families in order to determine their healthcare needs and to examine measures required improve their care.


Her research involved interviews with mesothelioma patients, focus groups with bereaved relatives, interviews with healthcare staff and a review of the medical records of 80 patients who died due to mesothelioma. Doctor Clayson’s conference presentation will be based on findings from the study which is widely regarded as a valuable research resource for all who are interested in issues facing mesothelioma patients and their families.


Doctor James Brophy and Doctor Margaret Keith are employed by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) in Sarnia, Ontario. Both have adjunct affiliations with the University of Windsor in Canada and University of Stirling in Scotland. Jim and Margaret have collaborated in numerous participatory action research projects using mapping techniques to gather, record, and report workers' health and safety concerns. This includes support for the work of Clydebank Asbestos Group in collaboration with fellow academics. They are also engaged in epidemiological research on occupational and environmental causes of cancer, with particularly focus on breast cancer among women. They have co-authored a book on occupational cancer and are founding members of the Ban Asbestos Network in Canada. They are married with four children and six grandchildren.


Doctor Sophia Kisting is a Senior Researcher and Gender Facilitator in the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Unit (OEHRU) in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town. She has been working in occupational health and safety (OHS) at the University of Cape Town since August 1994.


From 1994 to 1999 she was co-responsible for the running of the Workers Occupational Health Clinic in Cape Town where she conducted medical surveillance programmes and applied for compensation for workers who are ill from hazardous yet preventable work exposures. She has acted on many occasions as an expert witness in compensation hearings representing workers with occupational diseases.


She was the medical member of the National Parliamentary Asbestos Working Group which coordinated the landmark National Parliamentary Asbestos Summit in 1998.


She has acted as medical advisor to trade unions, in particular the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) for the past 10 years and previously the Construction and Allied Workers Union where she assisted with the development of the union’s policy on HIV/AIDS, silicosis and asbestos related diseases. Dr Kisting has been a member of the Working Committee established by the Department of Labour to research and coordinate policy with regards to compensation for occupationally acquired HIV/AIDS. From 2002 to 2003 she was Technical Advisor to the WHO on the WHO/ILO Joint Effort in Occupational Health in Africa. In June 2003 Dr Kisting was nominated, together with the Deputy President of the NUM, as Trustee of the Asbestos Relief Trust. The Trust is coordinating payment for asbestos exposed claimants from the Trust Fund of about R400 million.


Dr Kisting is Technical Advisor to the Tripartite, Interdepartmental National Working Group (DoL, DoH, DME) under the leadership of the Department of labour (DoL). The Working Group facilitated the background work for the historic launch, by the Minister of Labour, on 28 June 2004 of the National Programme for the Elimination of Silicosis. This National Programme is now part of the ILO/WHO Global Programme for the Elimination of Silicosis. She was nominated by the Department of Health and appointed by the Minister of Labour as a member of the Compensation Board. She was part of the team who wrote the ILO/WHO Guidelines for workplace TB control.

In 2003 the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health recognized Dr Kisting as one of ten most influential women in occupational health and safety internationally.


Laurie Kazan-Allen is an internationally known campaigner on asbestos and has been involved in this issue for many years. She is editor of the widely acclaimed British Asbestos Newsletter. She has written extensively on the subject of asbestos abuse and is one of the leading advocates of a world ban on the mining and manufacture of asbestos. She is responsible for organizing seminars and events throughout Europe and was a member of the organizing committee of the Global Asbestos Conference which took place in Tokyo, Japan in November2004, Laurie brought her international experience to the event.

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