Bamako/Geneva (ICRC) – A workshop on the treatment of patients injured by firearms or explosive devices, organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), is opening today in Bamako.
"War injuries have to be treated in a special way that is not usually taught in medical schools," said ICRC surgeon Günter Wimhöfer, in charge of training at the workshop. "The participants will have the opportunity to learn simple methods that can be used even in situations where the resources available for treating this kind of injury are very limited."
Over three days, some 30 surgeons, anaesthetists and specialized nurses from northern Mali and neighbouring Niger will share their experience with one another and discuss topics such as ballistics, the surgical treatment of abdominal injuries and of chest or brain trauma caused by weapons or mines, mass casualty management, the prevention of infection, and the physical rehabilitation of war-wounded patients.
"The workshop will raise awareness among the participants of the special nature of war surgery – a kind of surgery that many of them have little or no experience with – and of the treatment of casualties in the difficult conditions of a war zone," said Dr Wimhöfer.
The ICRC is providing support for several health-care facilities in northern Mali. For example, an ICRC medical team specializing in the treatment of war-injured people has reinforced the staff at Gao Regional Hospital, one of the two most important facilities in the region.