Franklin Graham Dedicates Field Hospital in Iraq

January 12, 2017 • Iraq
Franklin Graham officially dedicated the Samaritan's Purse emergency field hospital in Iraq on January 12.

Our trauma center is providing lifesaving care to those injured in the battle for Mosul.

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Franklin Graham officially dedicated the Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospital in Iraq today. The 50-bed trauma unit is located on the Plains of Nineveh and is designed to treat those injured in the battle between Iraqi and coalition forces and ISIS militants in Mosul. An estimated 3,000 people a day are now fleeing the city—a number of whom have sustained life-threatening injuries from the conflict.

Franklin Graham speaks with dignitaries, including U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande, at our field hospital.

Franklin Graham speaks with dignitaries, including U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande, at our field hospital.

Iraqi government officials and United Nations representatives joined Graham for the ceremony.

“It’s a privilege to be here,” Graham said. “As a Christian, I want all people to know about God’s love for them.

“We could not do this without the help of the Iraqi government and the international agencies, and we are so thankful for the cooperation we have received.”

Lise Grande, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said that it has been difficult to find organizations willing to provide frontline trauma care.

“We’ve reached out to a number of organizations, asking, begging them to step forward,” she said. “Dr. Graham, Samaritan’s Purse answered that call. We can’t thank you enough.

“You built this hospital in record time. Most of all we want to thank you for saving people. Because Samaritan’s Purse is here, thousands—tens of thousands—of people will survive…”

“Because Samaritan’s Purse is here, thousands—tens of thousands—of people will survive.”
—Lise Grande, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq

Arriving in Iraq on Christmas Day via airlift from Greensboro, North Carolina, the emergency field hospital was quickly assembled. Dozens of Samaritan’s Purse staff are treating patients with severe wounds from mortar rounds, car bombs, and sniper fire in hospital’s two operating rooms.

The hospital meets a critical need as trauma patients previously had to be transported for treatment in Erbil, a one- to two-hour drive away.

“In trauma there is what we call the ‘the golden hour’ when you can save a patient’s life,” said one of our hospital nurses. “If we can get them treatment within that golden hour, then there is a huge percentage that we can save their lives and their limbs.”

Our medical team in Iraq is busy treating patients with severe injuries at our field hospital.

Our medical team in Iraq is busy treating patients with severe injuries at our field hospital.

Field Hospital Director Dr. David Gettle, who has served with Samaritan’s Purse disaster response teams for 17 years, noted that God is giving patients like these a chance to survive because of the hospital’s proximity to the fighting.

“We are not only here to save their lives but they will see a difference in the personnel and how they are cared for,” Dr. Gettle said. “We will plant the seeds in the Nineveh plains, and God will cultivate them.”

Graham commended our medical team for the expert care they are providing to severely injured patients in the state-of-the-art facility even as they are ministering to them as well: “[They] pray for them, talk to them, hold their hands, and smile. For most of these people, it might be the only glimpse of Jesus Christ they will ever see, and I want them to leave here with that impression.”

Christian medical personnel, especially lab technicians, are urgently needed to staff the hospital for deployments of three weeks or longer. Particular needs include trauma/general surgeons, anesthesiologists, emergency medicine physicians, operating room nurses, intensive care unit nurses, surgical technicians, and operating room sterilization staff. Learn more here.

Iraq Samaritan's Purse field hospital

Many of our patients have been children.

The emergency field hospital is just one of the ways Samaritan’s Purse is addressing the physical and spiritual needs of the more than 130,000 Iraqis displaced from Mosul since the nation’s security forces and others began an offensive to retake the city from ISIS control in October 2016. In partnership with the World Food Programme, we have distributed more than 1,800 metric tons of food to evacuees in camps as well as in surrounding villages now free from ISIS control. We are also distributing non-food items ranging from cook stoves and hygiene kits to blankets and pieces of tarpaulin to help the displaced survive the winter temperatures.

Please pray for the emergency field hospital patients and their families, asking God to preserve lives and help them recover. Pray also for Him to sustain those serving them in Jesus’ Name.

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Northern Iraq
Northern Iraq Projects Samaritan’s Purse has established an emergency trauma field hospital to treat those injured in the conflict between Iraqi and coalition forces and ISIS militants in Mosul. We are also distributing desperately needed food and non-food relief items to many of the more than 330,000 people displaced by this conflict since October 2016. We also continue to help meet the long-term physical and spiritual needs of impoverished families whose lives were disrupted by the rapid advance of ISIS in 2014.

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