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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Diary from Baghdad, April 16, 19.45 o'clock Dr. Geert Van Moorter, through satellite phone Dr Geert Van Moorter and Dr. Claire Geraerts visiting three hospitals Bert De Belder "Today (Dr.) Claire (Geraerts) and me have visited three hospitals. In the Saddam Children Hospital many simple check-ups can no longer take place because there is a chronic shortage of medical supplies. In the garden around the hospital ditches were dug to burry the dead during the heaviest bombardments and battles. Now the cadavers, in advance stages of decomposition, are again unearthed for identification, and to allow the families to give them a decent burial. Even though washing of the bodies, which is a very important ritual in the Islamic culture, can of course no longer take place. Around the hospital we see a few men with Kalashnikovs to protect it against plunderers. But they don't dare to do anything against the US soldiers who have ransacked the hospital already twice, looking for fedayin under the wounded! Again another violation of the International Humanitarian Rights! In the Saddam Children Hospital we meet Ahmed Saleh, a 33 years old. He is working there as a volunteer. Officially he works with the Technological University of Baghdad, but this one is completely plundered. 'An American tank broke the gate of the university to allow entrance by the plunderers, Ahmed shares outraged. 'What I think of Saddam? Well, we are with 22 million Iraqis, did they really come to destroy everything to get only that one Iraqi? After all, even if you didn't like Saddam, everyone respected him as president.' In the Al-Anour Hospital we see Hiba again, the 12 years girl with the ugly wound at the knee (see picture). She has improved a little, fortunately. She has received some blood, and even an external fixator. We gave her a children drawing, with which she is very happy. This is really an enormous success, the Belgian children drawings - an idea of my niece Liesbeth. We gave Dr.Osama Fakri a box full with suture materials and an external fixator. 'We can use that very well, thanks a lot', he says. We also go to the Al-Yarmouk Hospital, where Dr. Jamal welcomes us warmly. The man is happy to see me again - but all his medical equipment is stolen.. 'Altogether it is not too bad here', says Dr. Jamal. 'Because of our defense committee only one-fifth of our equipment is stolen.' A bomb hit the Cardiology Care Unit (CCU), the hospital was under fire from two sides. Expensive equipment is rendered useless: no electricity, no refrigerators. However, one of the four generators still works, the other three are damaged during the war. And also here, very near the hospital: mass graves. However there are again daily about 200 to 250 patients for consultation, and Claire even notices a few cars with the sign of the Red Half Moon on it: signs of a slow recovery of the services. But medical supplies are still very short in supply.. Al-Yarmouk is in fact a university hospital and it belongs to the Al-Mustanseriya University. Claire and I meet a dean of the faculty of medicine, Dr. Alim Yacob. He tells that the university has formed a committee in an effort to restart the lessons. They called on the students to return to the university, and they try to get operational budgets from the local authorities. The creativity and the perseverance of the Iraqi people keep amazing us. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk