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Sudan: new rise in casualties for Lokichokio hospital

09-02-1995 News Release 6

Renewed fighting in southern Sudan in December and January, especially in and around Kapoeta, has resulted in a heavy influx of war-wounded at the ICRC's surgical hospital in Lokichokio, northern Kenya. " Yesterday alone, we had 45 casualties arriving at the hospital " , said Thomas Merkelbach, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Lokichokio. " Most of the wounded get here by road and the ICRC has started to evacuate them by truck from areas close to the Sudanese border. "

In January alone there were 305 new admissions. The ICRC has had to increase the hospital's capacity from 350 to 450 patients, with an extra 70 beds standing ready in a temporary emergency ward. " This is the largest number of war-wounded we have ever had to handle at the hospital " , said John Good, the ICRC medical coordinator for Sudan. " We already have two surgical teams working flat out, performing between 20 and 30 operations a day, and we've had to ask for a third surgical team to cope with the continuing waves of casualties, as well as an additional operating theatre for the hospital. "

The ICRC's medical programme for southern Sudan includes the rehabilitation of Juba teaching hospital in cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent and the Ministry of Health. The ICRC also has an expatriate surgical team working there.

A number of other hospitals and health posts in southern Sudan are likewise being assisted by the ICRC with medicines and other medical supplies, whilst primary health care and vaccination programmes are being run in the north of Bahr el Ghazal and Jonglei provinces.