Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Conflict’ Category

June 4, 1989: Chinese army troops stormed Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush the pro-democracy movement; hundreds – possibly thousands – of people died.


Famine: South Sudan

Famine-SouthSudan_Lancet-2017: Document (www.thelancet.com   Vol 389   May 20, 2017)

“South Sudan, together with Yemen, Somalia, and Nigeria pose what the UN calls the biggest humanitarian crisis since 1945 as millions flee conflict and drought…”

 


Helping hands across a war-torn border: the Israeli medical effort treating casualties of the Syrian Civil War

LANCET

TreatingSyrianWarCasualties: Published article in Lancet


On the afternoon of May 7, 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania is torpedoed without warning by a German submarine off the south coast of Ireland. Within 20 minutes, the vessel sank into the Celtic Sea. Of 1,959 passengers and crew, 1,198 people were drowned, including 128 Americans.


As many as 140 Afghan soldiers were killed on Friday by Taliban attackers apparently disguised in military uniforms

My Republica

 


More than 100 people, including 68 children, the vast majority being families evacuating from two Shiite villages, were killed in a suicide attack on Saturday in rebel-held northwestern Syria.

NPR

 


Turkish Health Ministry: “According to the results of preliminary tests, patients were exposed to chemical material (Sarin).”

NY Times

“….The Turkish statement said the sarin conclusion had been based on autopsies on three victims performed at Turkey’s Adana Forensic Medicine Institution with the participation of representatives from the World Health Organization and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a group based in The Hague that monitors compliance with the global treaty that bans such munitions…..”

 

 


Syria: Witnesses to the attack said it began just after sunrise. Numerous photographs and graphic videos posted online by activists and residents showed children and older adults gasping and struggling to breathe, or lying motionless in the mud as rescue workers ripped off victims’ clothes and hosed them down. The bodies of least 10 children lay lined up on the ground or under a quilt.

NY TImes

“…..Rescue workers from the White Helmets civil defense organization said that many children were among at least 50 dead and 250 wounded. Radi Saad, who writes incident reports for the group, said that volunteers had reached the site not knowing a chemical was present, and that five of them had suffered from exposure to the substance…..”


A different chemical attack in Syria? This time, people collapsed outdoors, and in much larger numbers. The symptoms were also different: They included the pinpoint pupils of victims that characterize nerve agents and other banned toxins. One doctor posted a video of a patient’s eye, showing the pupil reduced to a dot. Several people were sickened simply by coming into contact with the victims.

NY Times

“….Numerous photographs and graphic videos posted online by activists and residents showed children and older adults gasping and struggling to breathe, or lying motionless in the mud as rescue workers ripped off victims’ clothes and hosed them down. The bodies of least 10 children lay lined up on the ground or under a quilt.

Rescue workers from the White Helmets civil defense organization said that many children were among at least 50 dead and 250 wounded…..”


How healthcare suffered when ISIL seized Mosul, Iraq

CITY PROFILE OF MOSUL, IRAQ
Multi-sector assessment of a city under siege

United Nations Human Settlements Programme in Iraq (UN-Habitat) 2016

www.unhabitat.org

Nineveh Governorate was once known for its good
healthcare services and highly-qualified doctors.
Between 2008 and 2014, a substantial number of facilities
were rehabilitated and equipped with new medical
instruments. New specialized hospitals were also planned
in the northern and southern parts of the city, and some
were still under construction when ISIL took over the city
(Map 23).
According to the Ministry of Planning (2013), Mosul city
has in total:
• 13 public hospitals with a 3,200-bed capacity;
• 4 specialized public hospitals (gynaecology, cancer
and nuclear medicine, paediatric and maternity, and
chest diseases and fevers) with a 228-bed capacity;
• 3 private hospitals with a 104-bed capacity;
• 32 public health clinics; and
• 254 private health clinics.

All these facilities were managed by specialist doctors
and were working properly until ISIL occupied the city.
At that point, although hospitals were not destroyed by
air strikes and continue to receive civilian patients, health
services started to deteriorate. Due to the fragile security
situation, many medical staff members fled. This clearly
affected the quality of healthcare and the capacity of
hospitals to deal with surgical cases, and with patients
in general. With regard to surgeries, priority was given
to non-civilians patients. Also, the higher fees that ISIL
imposed on medical services and operations (IQD 100,000
– IQD 500,000) added to the suffering of many civilians.
The fact that ISIL prohibited male doctors from examining
female patients, and female doctors from examining
male patients, has particularly affected maternal health.
Exacerbating the problem is the increasingly poor
sanitation in hospitals and the disposal of hazardous
waste. The lack of obstetric and natal care is another
serious issue especially in view of the depletion of
vaccinations for infants. The availability of other medical                                                                                                                                supplies and equipment has also decreased, as stocks
were transferred outside Mosul and/or diverted for other
uses by ISIL.
The closure of the highways that connect Mosul with
other Iraqi cities further contributed to the decline of
the city’s health sector. Although many pharmacies are
still open, their stocks is quite limited. Medicines, when
available, are largely unaffordable. According to some city
residents, the only available medicines in Mosul today
are illegally imported from Syria and Turkey through ISIL
followers.
In short, many city inhabitants are affected by poor
healthcare, difficult access to surgery, unavailability of
basic medicines and medical supplies (e.g. insulin and
medicines for high blood pressure), as well as poor solid
waste disposal and limited clean water for drinking.

 


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