Dr Rachael Craven: Saving lives in war zone Syria

British doctor Rachael Craven, 42, usually works as anesthetist for the National Health Service in Bristol. But she had spent weeks in a war zone, treating casualties in a secret hospital that is being run by humanitarian aid agency Medicins Sans Frontieres inside northern Syria.

Operating without the permission of the Syrian government and fearing it could come under attack by regime artillery the hospital is in the guise of a civilian home.

“Luckily it is not like a house in the UK that is furnished with carpets. This had marble floors; the kitchen is a sterilisation room and the living and reception rooms have been turned into the operating theatres and recovery rooms,” said Dr Craven. “The courtyard is the emergency room”.

She was part of a team of local doctors and foreign staff that worked around the clock to treat the constant stream of patients. Snatched moments of rest were taken on the exposed hospital rooftop.

“We slept on the roof. Accommodation is a premium in northern Syria because of the influx from Aleppo. Any house has three or four families staying with them already,” said Dr Craven.

“We were at risk of shelling but so far it is a relatively safe area. I think a bigger (sic) is when the rain starts!

Source: The Telegraph

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book reviewCommunity Health Nursing
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