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Philippines: ICRC surgical seminars boost treatment for victims of violence

27-09-2006 News Release 06/57

"War surgeons should be able to operate from head to toe in the worst conditions" says Dr François Irmay, head surgeon from the ICRC’s headquarters in Geneva. He continues: "War surgery often deals with trauma in difficult situations, where resources and expertise are limited. It is different from the type of surgery practised for civilian injuries."

More than 30 civilian doctors from various hospitals in Central and Western Mindanao, and 40 military doctors assigned to conflict areas throughout the Philippines, are to attend seminars on war surgery techniques and the care of patients with war wounds.

The aim of the surgical seminars is that " Filipino doctors will be able to respond more effectively to the needs of the victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence, particularly in Mindanao, " adds Dr Sarji C. Muldong, ICRC Medical Field Officer and coordinator of the events.

These seminars will take place at two venues – Zamboanga City (27-29 September) and Quezon City (2-3 October). The ICRC has acquired extensive experience from working with trauma specialists and surgeons in war situations around the world, and these seminars will be an opportunity to share this experience with Philippine specialists who suddenly find themselves having to deal with people injured as a result of armed violence.

Dr Irmay will be the guest speaker, while Philippine specialists will lecture on the role of nurses in treating the war wounded and on the management of specific war wounds in the local setting.

All over the world, the ICRC provides medical services to victims of armed conflict when medical systems are disrupted. This may involve providing medicines, equipment or staff, or setting up temporary parallel facilities. The organization also supports the evacuation and treatment of casualties and trains local personnel.

Since opening its delegati on in the Philippines in 1982, the ICRC has been helping people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence in the country. The ICRC cooperates with the authorities, other humanitarian organizations and the Philippine National Red Cross.

For further information, please contact:
  Michael Rudiak, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 2 892 8901 / +63 918 907 2125
  Carla Haddad, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 05 or mobile +41 79 217 32 26