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Yemen: Training health staff in war surgery

23-08-2013 News Release 138/13

Sana'a (ICRC) – Some 60 Yemeni doctors and nurses from Aden, neighbouring governorates and other parts of Yemen participated in a three-day seminar on the surgical management of war wounds organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from 18 to 20 August.

"The ICRC carries out its humanitarian work in conflict situations, and over the years, it has developed internationally recognized expertise in war surgery," said Daniel Cavoli, who heads the ICRC sub-delegation in Aden. "We organized the seminar to share our knowledge and experience with Yemeni health professionals working in conflict-afflicted areas. The aim was to enhance their capacity, often with limited technical means, to provide life-saving surgical assistance for weapon - wounded casualties and to respond to specific health needs arising in conflicts or other violence."

This was the second seminar of this kind that the ICRC has organized in Aden. The first was held at Aden Al-Joumuriya Hospital in 2011. In addition, the ICRC organized a similar seminar together with Al-Razi Hospital in Jaar, Abyan governorate, in May of this year.

"Surgery for weapon-wounded victims is different from the type of surgery practised for civilian injuries," explained Heidi Hecht-Wendt, the ICRC's hospital project manager and operating theatre nurse in Yemen. "Furthermore, war surgery deals with trauma in situations where resources and expertise are limited, and where some patients can either not be transported or fear that a transfer to larger urban hospitals could jeopardize their safety."

The ICRC has been working in Yemen since 1962. In addition to training health specialists in the country, the ICRC provides support for dozens of hospitals, primary health-care facilities and physical rehabilitation centres.

For further information, please contact:
Alaa Al Aghbari, ICRC Aden, tel: +967 773 306 020
Ziad Abu Laban, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 736 244 438