September 20, 2023

ICRC conducts 19,000 surgeries on victims of insurgency in 9 years

ICRC conducts 19,000 surgeries on victims of insurgency in 9 years

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has conducted more than 19,000 free surgeries on victims of armed conflicts at the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital since its inception in 2015.

Mr Adal-Elah Tailkh, ICRC’s Administration Officer at the hospital told newsmen in Maiduguri on Wednesday that the surgical unit admitted 279 patients and conducted 1,090 surgical procedures in the first eight months of 2023.

Tailkh said the unit had been providing surgical care for victims of blasts; those with gunshot wounds and had trained health personnel in Borno.

“Patients in ICRC-supported surgical programme receive support services of national and international standards.

“Beyond the free surgical care, the project works with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital’s Physical Rehabilitation Centre to where it refers patients in need.

“Patients in need can also benefit from access to mental health, psychosocial and physiotherapy at the state’s specialists hospital,’’ Tailkh said.

Some blasts and gunshot victims receiving treatment at the hospital who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) lauded ICRC’s relief efforts.

A 30-year-old pregnant woman, Zainab Abdulrahman, receiving gunshots treatment, said she was a victim of insurgents’ activities on Aug. 15 while travelling in a commercial vehicle inside Borno.

“I was hit by three bullets in my legs and thigh. The army brought me here for treatment.

“This is my second time of coming here for free treatment. Three years ago I was here for nine months after I was hit in the stomach in a Boko Haram attack,’’ she said.

Another victim, a 25-year-old Auwal Danladi said he was first brought to the unit in 2015 as a result of injuries from a bomb blast in Damaturu.

Danladi said he was treated and discharged, but had to return after some years due to some complications.

“I thank the ICRC for the free treatment, which includes feeding. We do not know how things would have been without the ICRC,’’ Danladi said.

Also speaking with newsmen, some employees of the Borno Ministry of Health who benefitted from training opportunities provided by the ICRC said it provided them experience and modern facilities that eased their jobs.

Dr Kalakwa Abdulmumin, a consultant said the ICRC intervention gave him and some other personnel the needed opportunity to sharpen their skills.

“There is always that opportunity for weekly training that boost our knowledge,’’ Abdulmumin said.