“The M23 doesn’t care about wounded civilians”
The M23 fighters don’t care about wounded civilians. What they’re interested in is taking soldiers and police officers that come to us, and take them to the Katindo military hospital, where they will be ‘educated’.Our hospital is full. Our director disappeared for the first six days after Goma was captured. He hid in his home to protect his family. We only have two doctors, a few nurses and three interns to look after more than 20 people. Given the situation, we are really understaffed. Most of the cases are gunshot wounds, but we also have nine children who were trampled on when people fled the fighting in a panic. They’ve suffered multiple fractures.Since we have water, and electricity returned on Sunday, the situation for patients has improved slightly. But we have only received a single delivery of medicines this past week. That’s not enough.
“We will soon run out of medicines”
We’re lacking in equipment. Some patients can no longer be treated. We also haven’t got enough surgeons who specialise in thoracic surgery to treat those who have been shot in the chest. We also need more cardiopulmonary monitors to support the patients’ breathing, as well as external fixators to treat open fractures. But the absolute priority is to have ambulances to transport patients to larger medical centres, notably in Rwanda.Due to the electricity cuts, we have had to use generators, and have given priority to patients who need the help of machines to survive.Most of the patients were shot in the head or legs. We have had three deaths so far.“If we need to evacuate a patient to another hospital, they are more likely to die than to survive”The University of North Carolina and Doctors Without Borders have promised to give us more medication, but we don’t know when that will arrive. Between now and the middle of this week, we will run out of the supplies that we have.The hospital is neutral ground. We welcome everyone, regardless of their political views or nationality. We haven’t yet spoken to the M23 rebels about how to safely evacuate the severely wounded to bigger hospitals. As it currently stands, if we need to evacuate a patient to another hospital, they are more likely to die than to survive. Ideally, we would need a safety corridor.