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North Ossetia: ICRC aids hospitals

08-09-2004 News Release 04/108

The ICRC today furnished hospitals in Beslan and Vladikavkaz with medical equipment and supplies worth some $50,000 to cope with needs of the hundreds of people still hospitalized after last week’s hostage-taking in North Ossetia.

The aid had been requested by doctors treating the victims. It was delivered in conjunction with the Russian Red Cross directly to Beslan Regional Hospital and to three hospitals in Vladikavkaz.

The aid included lung-ventilation machines, electric suction machines, laryngoscopes and a range of other items including a large surgical set. The Forensic Medical Centre in Vladikavkaz was also assisted.

" The equipment we delivered today is typically used in emergency and post-emergency medicine,” said Dr Cleto Chashi, the ICRC’s medical coordinator in the northern Caucasus. “For example it will enable staff to continuously monitor the patients’ status, to help them breathe, and to inject medication.” He added that when the current emergency was over, the equipment could be used to monitor patients with complications arising from pneumonia or tuberculosis, or during routine operations.

Since the hostage crisis began on 1 September, the ICRC has been supporting local facilities with medicines and equipment. " We have done our best to meet the specific needs reported to us by the doctors " , said Georg Cunz, head of the ICRC mission in the northern Caucasus. " I think today's consignment goes a long way to supplying what we’ve been asked for. Of course, we stand ready to provide additional medical and other aid if new needs should arise. This includes direct assistance for the families of victims. "

The ICRC response is part of a broader surge of solidarity from Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide, whose donations are still arriving. The Russian Red Cross is receiving these and other donations for its humanitarian projects in North Ossetia, which include long-term psychological care for the families of victims.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Vincent Lusser, ICRC Moscow, tel. +7 095 926 54 26 or +7 095 79 631 22  

 Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC northern Caucasus, tel. +7 903 545 35 34  

 Annick Bouvier, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 58