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Angola: Training in war surgery at Huambo hospital

13-04-2000 News Release 00/13

Following an initial survey carried out by the ICRC in September 1999, a programme has been set up to train the staff of the main hospital in Huambo in war-surgery techniques. The first stage was completed last week and a decrease in the rate of wound infections has already been observed. This can be largely attributed to new treatment protocols and to an improvement in post-operative care. Management and follow-up of patients have also been improved, as has basic hygiene in the various wards.

In a six-week seminar led by an ICRC surgeon, hospital staff (surgeons, physicians and senior nurses working in the operating theatre, intensive care, the emergency room, the surgical ward and the orthopaedic unit) were given thorough training and also had the opportunity to examine 75 practical cases. A further mission is planned for August. Until then, technical support for the hospital will be reinforced by the presence of a health delegate who will be responsible for supervising and reorganizing emergency admissions.

Since January 1999, the hospital has been receiving medicines and medical supplies under the supervision of an ICRC medical delegate. This assistance, at first intended only for the war-wounded, has been extended since May 1999 to all cases requiring surgery. In addition, repair work on the hospital's sanitary facilities has been going on since January 2000.