OTTAWA, April 26, 2013 /CNW/ - A Canadian Red Cross field surgical team is supporting operations by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide emergency medical care to wounded patients affected by the conflict in South Sudan.
"The Canadian Red Cross stands ready to support the ICRC in meeting the critical humanitarian needs created by situations of conflict," said Conrad Sauvé, secretary general and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. "The continuing conflict in South Sudan has taken a heavy toll on its people, and the country's health needs are acute. We are working with the ICRC to strengthen surgical care for the South Sudanese people affected by the armed conflict."
The Canadian team seconded to the ICRC includes a team leader, a surgeon, an anaesthetist, operating theatre ward nurses and two technicians. The team is currently in Bor (Jonglei state), where it is supporting the local hospital in providing post-operative care for wounded patients. The team is also providing valuable technical support and on-the-job training to prepare hospital staff for future emergencies.
"The shortage of health-care facilities, together with the frequent violence in some parts of the country - Jonglei state for instance - are having an impact on the people of South Sudan," said Melker Mabeck, the head of the ICRC's delegation in South Sudan.
"Over the last two years, armed violence there and in other parts of the country has been recurrent," said Mabeck. "We need to be prepared to deal with emergencies."
The Canadian team joins two other field surgical teams operating at Malakal Teaching Hospital in Upper Nile state and elsewhere in the field. Since the beginning of the year, ICRC surgical teams in South Sudan have operated on or treated hundreds of patients.
The Canadian Red Cross contribution to ICRC operations in the country also includes pharmaceuticals and operating theatre equipment, as well as shelter equipment and beds - part of the Canadian Red Cross' emergency response unit field hospital system. This equipment will be used in Bor and in other areas around the country where there is a need for urgent medical care.
The Canadian Red Cross emergency response unit field hospital is a crucial part of the Red Cross Movement's emergency response capacities. The modular field hospital system has previously provided urgent care during public health disasters in Haiti, Chad, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Mozambique.
SOURCE: CANADIAN RED CROSS
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