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Caritas fears medical equipment lost in hospital blast

Caritas Internationalis is worried that the vital medical equipment it recently donated to the Iraq Red Crescent Society hospital on the edge of Baghdad may not have survived the bombing of the compound last Wednesday.

As part of its disaster preparedness program, Confrerie de la Charitie (Caritas Iraq) pre-positioned a mobile x-ray machine and an ECG machine with a monitor at this hospital which is an established medical institution specialising in paediatrics.

The compound also includes a maternity hospital and a surgical hospital. The World Health Organisation has reported that the compound was badly damaged but no casualties were reported as the building had been evacuated. Outside the hospital, 27 people were injured and three people died in the bombing.

"It is a tragedy that three people and 26 were injured in this attack," said Karl Ammann, leader of the Caritas Internationalis Emergency Response Support Team. "We are relieved that the death and injury tolls were not higher."

He continued: "We have not been able to ascertain if our equipment survived the bombing. This is a tragedy for the sick people, particularly the children who need diagnosis and treatment."

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 154 relief, development and social service organisations serving in 198 countries and territories, including Caritas Australia. It has launched an appeal for more than $A13.36 million to support more than 43,000 families or over 260,000 internally displaced people in Iraq over the next three months.

Caritas Internationalis

Iraq Humanitarian Response Situation Report (Caritas Internationalis)
Biblical battlefield: War brings suffering to places of Old Testament (Catholic News Service)
Vatican newspaper focuses on war's innocent casualties (Catholic News Service)
Military archbishop: Catholics can serve 'in good conscience' (Washington Post)
First Baghdad refugees reach Jordan
Medicines Needed in Caritas-Iraq's Aid Centers (Zenit)

9 Apr 2003