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Liberia: War surgery

12-09-2002 News Release 02/37

A three-day seminar on war surgery was held this week at Monrovia's Medical College. Organized by the ICRC together with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Liberian Medical and Dental Association, the event enabled Liberian doctors to exchange experiences and upgrade their skills, and thus improve care for people wounded in Liberia's current conflict. All doctors in the country were invited to attend.

The head of the surgery unit at the ICRC's Geneva headquarters travelled to Monrovia to conduct the seminar. He shared the expertise that the organization has accumulated over the years helping or actually running hospitals caring for war casualties. This has enabled the ICRC to develop special procedures for treating the war-wounded in often difficult conditions. The ICRC has held similar seminars in a wide range of countries.

Working in conjunction with hospital staff, the ICRC opened a surgical unit at JFK Memorial Hospital in Monrovia in July. The unit, which treats war casualties and other surgical emergencies, has a capacity of 50 beds. This could be increased to 165 if the need arose.