• June 06, 2018
  • Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra)
  • No comments
Dr Omar Amouri, an orthopaedic surgeon, is doing his morning rounds in Hamam al-Alil field hospital, south of Mosul. The field hospital, one of four established and supplied by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the early months of 2017, played a critical role in saving lives during the military campaign to retake Mosul. 

The hospitals received patients from WHO-coordinated trauma stabilization points on the frontlines. Thousands of lives were saved because patients were triaged within the first hour of injury. “WHO did a great job in this and other field hospitals. Honestly, if this hospital was not here, who would receive the casualties of the war? We needed that. Mosul needed that.” 

The caseload at the Hamam al-Alil field hospital is lighter these days, about 10-15 operations a day, mostly elective. The hospital is treating the so-called ‘third wave’ of war, such as those with neglected fractures. It also receives patients from inside Mosul, where most hospitals are heavily damaged. 

Dr Amouri is proud of the hospital’s success treating serious burns, even without a specialized burn unit. WHO continues to support Hamam al-Alil, and is helping to relocate two other field hospitals located in Athba and Haj Ali to West Mosul, which lost most of its major medical facilities during last year’s military campaign. 

The contrast with the early days of the Mosul battle—the despair and the desperation—is stark. Dr Amouri remembers an older man who had lost his right arm. “I approached him to examine him and he told me not to do anything for him. He said, ‘I lost all my family; my daughters and my grandsons. I have nothing left to live for, so please leave me, I want to die’.” 

Dr Amouri was born, raised, and educated in Mosul. Much of the city is now in ruins. He grieves for it, and fears for its future. “Mosul has become unrecognizable. All the things that I loved and knew, they are all gone. I’m happy to see people trying to rebuild their lives, but the city is destroyed. It’s not there anymore.” 

Yet he works on; his commitment to his fellow Iraqis unwavering. “I believe it’s my responsibility. Even when I’m not on call, I’m not on duty, I hear the ambulance and I feel I need to go and help. It’s a part of my life. I need to help injured people. If I don’t do it, who will?”


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