Malian medical practioners trained in war surgery

The war surgery consists of treating victims of armed conflicts and violences, who were injured by weapons. From 10th to 23rd May, 2017, about 50 medical doctors who were undergoing specialised training in surgery, have attended a course in war surgery at the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Odontostomatology of Bamako.

Organised within the partnership framework between ICRC and CAMES (the African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education), this instruction performed by an ICRC 's expert-surgeon, aimed to better train participants in the treatment of wounded parties in armed conflicts (injured by guns, knives/bayonets, explosives, etc.). They were fifty participants during the six days, who benefited from this hands-on appreciation training on the main aspects of such surgery: injuries that affect limbs, abdomen, chest, head, wounds from landmines or blasts, management of massive influx of wounded people, first aid, etc.

This instruction is of paramount importance in Mali. Indeed, since 2012, in northern regions and large part of country center, the civilian population continues to suffer direct consequences of armed conflicts and violences leading to a significant number of injured by weapons, bayonets, explosives, etc. The knowledge building of those physicians, who were undergoing specialised training in surgery, is necessary so as to better treat civilian and military casualties with adequate and available in conflicts areas. Thanks to that module, future surgeons may ensure a timely and smooth treatment of wounded people.

Dr. Naouma Cissé witnessed that: "Our country is experiencing conflict situations. We are dealing increasingly with this kind of injuries, including here, in Bamako. This training session enabled us to deepen our knowledge in surgical treatment of various injuries related to armed conflicts, a little-known field in Mali".

We must mention that this academic module has already been taught in other CAMES member states , including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, Togo, Chad, Guinea and Senegal. It should be noted that even in times of peace, acquired skills should also be useful for accident victims.

Improving access to health care

In Mali, we are supporting several health in the north of the country such as Gao regional hospital since May 2012. In addition to our support in terms of human, physical resources, equipment and rehabilitation of infrastructures, we ensure the treatment of war wounded and all vulnerable patients.

From January to May 2017, our medico-surgical team comprised of nationals and expatriates together with the hospital's staff, have carried out over 690 surgical operations and undertook surgeries on more than 135 war-wounded.

It must be emphasised that an ICRC's surgical team may also be deployed in Mopti and Segou regions to provide support to hospital facilities.