Our mission in Iraq continues and so the medical treatment of the war wounded does. But the latest events in the country bring big problems for us and other organisations for continuing our work. Moreover the development of the situation in the future is unpredictable.
Read our now blog post to know how ow we work under these conditions and how the mood is in the team on ground.
"[...], despite the many dead and the impression that my own work would be nothing but a drop in the ocean. Even though you can always discuss the political impact of humanitarian missions, their meaningfulness to me is justified and indisputable. It is a sign of solidarity, of not looking the other way. If you think a bit further, providing direct aid in a TSP is a sustainable work as well, as every saved live can help to rebuild and remake this country in the future and warn of another war. Inshallah."
Doctor Elisa writes about her impressions of her medical work in Mosul, the images that are always with her and her role as a female volunteer in a male-dominated environment.
"It was not some kind of natural disaster creating those injuries, but people committing these atrocities on other people. We were facing the massive machinery of war with our minimal equipment. Would I do it again? Despite much brooding, the answer is yes."
Paramedic Malte’s impressions from our TSP in Mossul
A four-year-old girl, Khadeja, is brought to our TSP at Mosul. Iraqi troops have pulled her from a foxhole in Mosul's old town. The child's mother and father are dead. Suddenly the Iraqi Intelligence Service intents to take over the girl for interrogation, against all international laws. Our team is not accepting the situation and threatens to leave.
Doctor Gerhard Trabert was part of the team and documented the situation via Facebook. Here you can read his combined texts as blog post.
"People are celebrating in order to forget and enjoying life because many know that these moments are fleeting. Perhaps they also try to push away the fact that, with all the security and quality of life there is now, Erbil would almost have suffered the same fate as Mosul in 2014."
Kris, Head of Mission in Erbil, is reporting about the heavy contrast between Erbil and Mosul.
As things progress in Mosul we’ve had to replace most of our team in the area. Our three new arrivals couldn't have a more challenging start. Shortly after their arrival the IS began attacking liberated parts of Mosul. Our team continued their work despite the barrage of recent destruction and bloodshed, earning our deep thanks and respect. Here the first report by Elisa and Stefan:
"The last days were incredibly exhausting for the whole team. The influx of patients continues unabated. I'm almost surprised about this, 'cause the number of patients is much higher than another TSP has told us in advance. Daily, far more than 30 seriously injured people, civilians and combatants arrive here. Often the awaited help is too late, they're practically dying while arriving." The situation in Mosul is still dramatic. Sebastian with an urgently report from our Trauma Stabilization Point in the contested city.
Our CEO Sebastian with a little report about his experiences in Mosul: “Another night shift is over for the CADUS team in our Mosul TSP. After the breaking of the fast, when it's getting dark and temperature is falling a little bit, gunfights are starting again. It's almost certain that there will be another high influx of patients during the night."
“It’s going to take a long time, it’s going to be hard and all Trauma Stabilization Points (TSPs) will reach their limits. So as the fourth TSP we arrived just in time and are in a good position regarding staff and material” Kris sums up, who is in Mosul for CADUS at the moment.
And suddenly, the mission was over before it even started. Four members of our team had been on the way to Erbil on 15th of March to deliver urgently needed medical support with our “Mobile Hospital” to the people in northern Iraq. They were traveling, via Istanbul, to Erbil but the journey ended prematurely at the Turkish airport. They were detained and kept in custody for about 16 hours.
…and suddenly it feels like being back at the Middle Ages. In Russia, a bill was waved through that focuses on the decriminalization of domestic violence. That means domestic violence is no longer being charged as a crime, but as a minor breach of law. That seems like a slap in the face to the estimated 600,000 women* who are experiencing violence each year. Their invisibility will increase, no big solidarity campaign was set up on Facebook and no large media echo was heard.
It all started with an idea. During our medical training in Syria two years ago we set up the plan to actively oppose the almost complete collapse of the medical system- the idea of a mobile hospital for Syria and Northern Iraq was born. Due to expert knowledge, creative ideas and a bit of Mac Gyver, our first mobile medical unit is ready and can start its journey to the places, where it is needed badly; we just have to overcome the last hurdle: bureaucracy. As soon as the last stamp is set the trip begins.