Ethiopia: ICRC surgeon operates on former soldiers
17-09-2003 News Release 03/110
Three years after the end of the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia, 16 former soldiers who suffered horrendous face wounds during the hostilities have been operated on by an ICRC surgeon at the Armed Forces General Hospital in Addis Ababa.
Dr Albane Pineau, a French specialist in maxillo-facial surgery, already travelled to Ethiopia for the same purpose in 2000 and 2001. In all, 149 patients have so far undergone maxillo-facial surgery.
At the time of their injuries, the 16 former soldiers were immediately hospitalized but the operations they underwent left them with serious facial deformities. Now that their faces have been reconstructed, they will finally be able to lead normal lives again.
Dr Pineau expressed complete satisfaction with the operations. “Some of the patients were in very poor condition,” she said. “Their faces were so deformed by bullet or shrapnel wounds that they couldn’t even speak or eat properly. As a result, they developed psychological disorders that made their social reintegration very difficult.”
As on her previous assignments in Ethiopia, Dr Pineau also helped to train local surgeons and other medical staff, who took an active part in the operations.
Dr Pierre Gratzl, ICRC Health Coordinator, Addis Ababa, tel: ++2511 51 83 66