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Tajikistan: surgeons discuss weapon wounds and management of mass casualties

11-04-2011 News Release 11/86

Dushanbe (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today launched a three-day seminar bringing together 50 surgeons from the Tajik ministry of health, ministry of defence, emergency situations committee, ministry of internal affairs, and state committee for national security. The ICRC is holding the event with the support of the ministry of health and the seminar will focus on surgery for people injured by weapons, together with the management of mass casualties.

The seminar will be facilitated by two ICRC senior surgeons, who between them have 25 years of experience in war and emergency surgery, and will serve as a platform for exchanging experience and best practices. Weapon wounds do not form part of standard training for surgeons, making the ICRC’s experience all the more valuable – the organization has treated some 100,000 such cases over the years. "All weapon wounds are contaminated, and they easily become infected if you don’t treat them quickly," says ICRC surgeon Valery Sasin. "And because of their high velocity, bullets and fragments generally cause more damage than other objects. You have to manage these wounds in a way you don’t generally learn in medical school." Surgeons from the ministry of health will also share their experience on subjects such as first aid in the field, wounds and fractures.

The ICRC has been working in Tajikistan since 1992 and carried out a major humanitarian operation during the 1992-1997 civil war. More recently, the organization has supported the mine-awareness programme and other activities of the Tajik Red Crescent. The ICRC also supports Dushanbe limb-fitting centre, which provides physical rehabilitation services for mine victims and other disabled people. In addition, the organization promotes international humanitarian law in the country.

For further information, please contact:
Elena Filatova, ICRC Dushanbe: +992 37 221 82 14
Sergey Belyaev, ICRC Tashkent: +998 97 103 36 70