“We treated patient number one 19 years ago. This was during a different war, and a different time. Thousands of wounded have passed by these walls, and through these operating rooms. Today the hospital is not the same. The prolonging of the crisis brought the clinic to its knees. There are not enough resources. For more than 10 years the local authorities, to whom the hospital was handed in 2005, managed it autonomously without problems. However, in the last two years the crisis has weakened the entire region, and the whole health care system has collapsed.
We have returned there to the Emergency Hospital to help the local staff to do their job: heal anyone who might have need. They do not want to have to refuse patients at the entrance for lack of resources anymore, or find themselves without tools to treat the victims.
The types of wounds today are the same as those whom we saw years ago. They are caused by mines, projectiles, and explosions. Today, the patients arrive from Mosul, and thousands of the wounded are transferred to Erbil. Its hospitals, already in crisis, are imploding.
Together with the local staff, we are reopening all the wards, doubling the hospital’s capacity. We are doing it in a way such that there will always be enough pharmaceuticals and materials. We are putting the staff in a position to treat all the wounded of this incredibly long set of wars.”
– Emanuele, from Iraq, updates us on our new War Surgey Programme in Erbil