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Surviving War, And Going Back
July 29, 2013
South Sudan 2013 © Jason Cone/MSF
After surviving war, not many people would choose to go back to a conflict zone, but that’s exactly what nurse Abdul Wassay did. As an Afghan refugee growing up in Pakistan, he saw firsthand the urgent medical care Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) delivers to people in war zones. After working with MSF near his home, he volunteered to help others in another conflict-torn country—South Sudan.
Intense fighting there has injured thousands of men, women, and children and sent many more fleeing for their lives. Your support is urgently needed to bring emergency medical care to people on all sides of the conflict with nowhere else to turn. Abdul Wassay:
“I've been the medical team leader for the past 11 months here at MSF’s 100-bed hospital. As an Afghan refugee, I saw firsthand the critical assistance that MSF delivers. That is why, after working for MSF for several years in Pakistan, I decided to come to South Sudan to treat people suffering from 30 years of war.
Lankien Hospital is the only one of its kind for hundreds of miles in every direction. Our wards are filled with malnourished children, expectant mothers with complications, and people suffering from tuberculosis and kala azar. Patients come from hours away, mostly travelling the rugged landscape on foot.
And, when violence breaks out between local groups, we can face wave after wave of wounded patients.”
Thousands of people have been impacted by the fighting in South Sudan, and many men, women and children have nowhere to turn for medical care.
“We not only faced the challenge of treating serious injuries, we also needed to make sure the battlefield didn't make its way into the hospital. While my colleagues and I tried to staunch the bleeding, check vital signs, and administer IV fluids and antibiotics to stave off shock and infection, I was already thinking about what we would need to do to maintain the safety of our staff and patients.
Because we were treating people on both sides of the conflict, we had to keep our patients separated in different wards. We also restricted the access of people entering and leaving the hospital. But even with these changes, our staff still searched every person entering the inpatient care area for weapons, to provide an extra layer of protection.
Impartiality and neutrality are critical tools for maintaining the security of Doctors Without Borders teams and patients. And the independent financial support we receive from you plays a crucial role in helping us treat anyone needing emergency medical care in the midst of a conflict.”
Delivering quality medical care in conflict zones is never easy, but our teams have the expertise and experience to do whatever it takes to save lives. With your donation now, you become a crucial part of our team. Because there are so few places for sick and injured people to turn for help, your support becomes even more critical. For example:
$35 Can purchase a suture set containing surgical instruments for emergency wound repair in the field.
$75 Can purchase chlorination equipment to provide 870 people with clean drinking water for one week in an emergency.
$100 Can purchase supplies to build emergency shelters for five families uprooted during a crisis.
$500 Can purchase lifesaving therapeutic food to treat 17 children suffering from severe malnutrition.
$1,000 Can purchase lifesaving treatment for 1,000 young children suffering from malaria.
Time could be soon running out for thousands of people impacted by the conflict in South Sudan. The rainy season is approaching and our teams on the ground are reporting that the people seeking safety out in the bush will likely soon be trapped by flooding, and unable to seek medical care for malaria and other deadly diseases.
We are rushing in to reach the people most in need of emergency medical care. MSF teams are going out into the swamps to provide first aid and treating waves of wounded people in cities and towns nearest the fighting. But many more people are still in need of urgent care and we rely on your support to continue to save lives.
Thank you in advance for your generosity,
Executive Director, MSF-USA
Tags: South Sudan