For decades Dr David Nott has performed surgery in some of world’s most dangerous places – including Bosnia, Iraq, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Earlier this month he flew to Gaza to work with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is bringing vital help to people caught up in the ongoing violence. Dr Nott, who also performs cancer and trauma surgery at hospitals in London, describes a day amid the chaos and pain of this weeks-old conflict.
“Today there is a cease fire, and apart from the injuries from last night all is relatively calm and the streets are full of cars and people. Contrast this to yesterday when all the roads were deserted and only donkeys and cats roamed the streets in the north of Gaza.
“Despite the relative calm, today for me was a day haunted by death. I thought it was bad yesterday when we admitted an 8 year old boy with a through-and-through gunshot to the head and a 3 year old with an unsurvivable chest injury. But today, if anything, was worse.
“Because of the ceasefire, the only admissions to the hospital today were the dead. Tens of them, found in the rubble and brought in by the Palestine Red Crescent Society. I went with another ICRC doctor to witness the damage and see first-hand the devastation. I am shocked.
“The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) have a terrible job, and today was even more terrible for them than for us at the hospital. They were in mourning as a PRCS ambulance driver was shot dead in his ambulance going to pick up an autistic young child seen roaming the streets.
“The ceasefire finished today at 7pm. We are bracing ourselves for the evening shelling.”
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