Iraq-Jordan: Surgery for wounded Iraqis

In this surgical unit in Jordan, far from Baghdad Iraqi and foreign doctors try to give a new lease on life to wounded Iraqis who, although weakened, continue to hope for a better future.

"It will help me to wash myself and to dry."

The orthopaedic surgeon can fix the joint. That is not a problem. But he needs to know which position to fix it in. Do you want your hand to be facing this ay round, or the other way?

"I would like whatever position would help me wash my hair and drive a car. Whichever helps me most in my day-to-day life."

Some of the these patients waited for months before receiving the necessary authorisation to join the surgical unit run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in Jordan. Our teams have been working here for over a year now. They provide care and reassurance to patients, monitor the healing process and schedule further operations if necessary.

This little girl who is one and a half years old was injured by shrapnel during a car explosion 200 metres from her home. In Iraq, they wanted to amputate her arm. In Amman, the plastic surgeon has performed the first of a series of operations on her arm.

Dr Nasser Abdalla Fadel "This patient was presented to us with severe soft tissue loss and segmented bone loss of the radial bone. I did for her an abdominal clasp to cover the soft tissue in this area and then we are planning to do for her a bone graft and some sort of tendon transfer in the future."

A glimmer of hope that brings a smile back to her father’s face. He has been at her side ever since that tragic day.

This young boy is about to undergo his much-awaited operation. Other patients offer him their support. He would like to be able to walk again without pain. In order for him to be able to straighten his foot, surgeon’s will ave to cut the bone and then reconstruct it. A long and difficult operation.

Every week new patients arrive, all of them suffering from complicated injuries. Back in Iraq, more than a hundred would are waiting their turn having already been identified as future patients for this programme.