Not fewer than 50 doctors and other health care workers including trauma nurses are undergoing a surgical training on special skills for the treatment and care of people wounded during conflicts or weapon wounded patients.
The three-day seminar is packaged by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the Nigeria’s Ministry of Health has already commenced in Abuja.
The participants for the training cut across surgeons, trauma nurses, medical officers and psychotherapists and are expected to learn how to manage weapon-wounded patients with limited resources.
The scope of the training will include surgery, wound care, coping with a massive influx of weapon-wounded casualties, and the rights and obligations of medical personnel under international humanitarian law.
The ICRC’s Deputy Head of Delegation in Nigeria Myriam el Kholi while addressing the participants lamented the negative impact of the Boko Haram crisis on the health system in Nigeria.
“Eight years of armed conflict have drained the health system in north-east Nigeria of resources. Many health facilities have closed, doctors and nurses have fled for safety and the remaining ones often find themselves treating patients injured by bomb blasts or weapons with limited resources. We are collaborating with the Nigerian Ministry of Health to equip them with the necessary skills to deal with such situations,” Myriam El Kholi said.
Investigation revealed that since 2012, when the ICRC and the Ministry of Health started this training, over 430 Nigerian medical practitioners have attended the surgical seminar.
Gabriel Mufuta Kankolongo, the ICRC’s health coordinator in Nigeria informed that, “The ICRC currently has two surgical teams working out of the State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri to further support the Nigerian medical system. Since the beginning of the year, they have operated on close to 290 weapon-wounded patients”.
He added that ICRC supports 23 state primary health care centres and three mobile clinics serving the displaced, returnees and residents in north-east Nigeria, stressing that “Between January and June, almost 246,000 patients attended these clinics, which saw the delivery of over 11,000 babies. Additionally, about 6,340 children under age 5 suffering from severe acute malnutrition received treatment in the same period”.
In another development, nearly 70 Nigerian teachers of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in institutions of higher education completed a three-day workshop organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
The annual workshop provides a platform for Nigerian lecturers in International Humanitarian Law to discuss challenges in implementing IHL
“This workshop is unique to Nigeria and is the oldest workshop on IHL in West Africa. It provides an opportunity for Nigerian academics from different states to discuss the application of IHL to current events, such as the protection of health care and the displaced,” said Marie-Louse Tougas, ICRC’s Regional Legal Adviser in West Africa.
Deputy Head of the ICRC delegation in Nigeria Jean-François Queginer said; “We were very happy to see such an active participation of Nigerian scholars over the last three days. We hope that the workshop will contribute to better knowledge of international humanitarian law and international human rights law throughout Nigeria.”
The Nation gathers that ICRC supports the study of IHL at 26 Nigerian institutions of higher education
BY: Duku JOEL
THE NATION NEWS
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