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Kyrgyzstan: ICRC and Red Crescent assist hospitals in Osh

11-06-2010 News Release 105/10

Bishkek/Moscow/Geneva (ICRC) – Following ethnic clashes in the city of Osh, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Kyrgyz Red Crescent Society have provided medical supplies to six hospitals in the area to help them cope with a mass influx of wounded.

The supplies included dressing sets, glucose and painkillers and were urgently needed to replenish medical stocks exhausted by about 400 injured patients, most of whom were suffering from gunshot wounds and required emergency treatment. More than half needed further care. 

" It was distressing to see all of these injured people waiting to be operated on, " said Séverine Chappaz, Deputy Head of the ICRC Mission in Kyrgyzstan. " Fortunately, we were able to deliver supplies quickly to help the surgeons and nurses who were working flat out. "

Amid concerns about recurring violence in Kyrgyzstan since early April, the ICRC recently reinforced its presence in Osh to monitor humanitarian needs in the south of the country. Working with the Kyrgyz Red Crescent Society, it had already begun pre-positioning first aid and surgical materials in recent weeks in order to be able to respond quickly to acute medical needs.

" Most people injured by gunshots can survive, provided they receive adequate treatment within the first hour or two, " stressed Ms Chappaz. " Therefore, it is essential that the wounded and sick have prompt access to medical care and that health care personnel are allowed to work safely. "

The ICRC has been present in Kyrgyzstan since 1999. It carries out humanitarian visits to detainees, promotes awareness of international humanitarian law and other humanitarian norms, and provides technical and financial support to the Kyrgyz Red Crescent Society. The ICRC also provided emergency medical supplies for people wounded during the violent unrest in the capital, Bishkek, in April.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Anna Nelson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 32 64  

 Claudia Azzolini or Séverine Chappaz, ICRC Bishkek, tel: +996 772 007 677