N'Djamena/Brussels - Since the afternoon of April 13, MSF has been treating heavily wounded civilians after widespread violence in Chad reached its capital city, N'Djamena. So far, surgical teams have provided treatment to more than 60 people in the Hopital General de Reference National (HGNR), the main reference hospital in the country.
At 11.30am local time on Thursday, security conditions were good enough for an MSF convoy to make its way to HGNR to support the local medical staff. The MSF team which has been working in the hospital since consists of a surgeon, doctor, nurse and logistician. They also brought desperately needed medical supplies like perfusion fluids, a surgical kit for 150 wounded, an amputation kit, and dressings materials to the hospital.
"I was shocked by the seriousness of the injuries like shredded limbs and very large open wounds," said Pierre Gielis, a veteran MSF surgeon.
"We had to perform quite a lot of double inferior limbs amputations. Most of the wounded are quite young. We've been treating girls and even a three-year old baby."
The fighting has resulted in a large number of casualties. As yet, no clear estimates are available. As of today at noon, 64 civilians have been referred to HGRN and 45 to the Hôpital de la Liberté - the other hospital that MSF is supporting with medical supplies only.
All day long, vehicles of the Chadian Red Crescent, the International Committee of the Red Cross and MSF have brought more wounded to the hospital.
A second surgical team arrived in N'Djamena on Thursday afternoon. This allows for a 24-hour rotation between teams for post-surgery activities which are now crucial. A third surgical team is on stand by for immediate departure to Chad.