Baghdad Hospitals Stretched to their Limits: ICRC
Saturday 05 April 2003
An International Red Cross medical team that visited four Baghdad hospitals on Friday saw several hundred wounded and dozens of dead from bombing and fighting, a spokesman said, adding that the facilities were under considerable strain.
"The hospitals said they were stretched to their limits, particularly with regards to staff," said International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokesman Florian Westphal.
The visit by ICRC officials took place before the latest heavy fighting in and around Baghdad, which US forces claimed they were entering on Saturday.
"Hospital staff face a difficult choice when the security situation obliges them to stay inside, between staying with their families or going to work," said the spokesman.
The hospitals visited were ill-prepared to cope with the current situation, in particular with electricity cuts, and inadequate generators made it difficult to carry out surgery, said Westphal.
Six ICRC expatriate staff in Baghdad have been ordered to stay in their office in the city, as the current fighting made it too dangerous to move around, he said.
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