SA team do first operations on quake victims in Nepal

2015-05-01 18:53
Doctors with SA aid organisation Gift of the Givers (Dr Mounin Kotchi, Gift of the Givers)

Doctors with SA aid organisation Gift of the Givers (Dr Mounin Kotchi, Gift of the Givers)

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Kathmandu - A South African medical team conducted its first operations on critically injured earthquake victims in Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday.

A team of medical specialists has landed in the disaster-struck country that has declared a national crisis after an earthquake six days ago.

The death toll steadily continues to rise, with its last mark standing at over 5 000.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Livan Menesis-Torino, part of a humanitarian and rescue mission by Gift of the Givers, said that they were able to start desperately needed surgeries.

"What has stopped us going ahead on the first day was simply the logistics of the matter and we needed to register with the relevant authority in Nepal to allow us to start treating the injured," he said.

"We worked quite quickly and we managed to get going today [Friday] in a local hospital. We also needed to identify hospitals where our services were most needed," he added.

"We operated on three patients today. One was a child who had a shattered elbow and it took a long time to put it back together. We operated on a man who had a broken leg and he had been trapped under a building."

"There is lots more still to be done. The reality is that the remote areas are neglected and cut off and no one knows what is going on in the villages outside of Kathmandu. It is already six days after the quake and we are already starting to see complications as a result of septic wounds. This is serious because this can result in serious long term effects," he said.

"The most amazing thing is that the doctors here are so welcoming and they are very appreciative of what we are doing."

"The hospitals have now decided to open extra theatres to help deal with all the injured who are brought in from across the country."

"At the hospital today 26 patients were seen during rounds who were directly linked to the trauma of this phenomenon," Menesis-Torino added.  

- News24 is travelling with the Gift of the Givers team.

Read more on:    nepal  |  earthquakes  |  nepal earthquake  |  natural disasters

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