The Battle in Mosul Continues
Samaritan's Purse is treating the injured and providing relief to those displaced by conflict
Samaritan’s Purse is caring for critically injured children and adults at our emergency field hospital on the Plains of Nineveh in Iraq. Our hospital is prepared to treat patients injured by gunfire, land mines, mortar rounds, car bombings, and improvised explosives as the conflict between coalition/Iraqi Security Forces and ISIS terrorists moves into western Mosul. To date, our revolving medical team comprised of nationals and over 250 expatriates has treated more than 1,300 patients, many of whom are women and children. Over 660 major surgeries have been performed since the hospital's opening in early January.
Christian medical personnel are urgently needed to staff the hospital for deployments of three weeks or longer. Particular needs include trauma/general surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, operating room nurses, intensive care unit nurses, surgical technicians, and operating room sterilization staff. In addition, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are needed immediately. Learn more here.
Equipped with an emergency room, two operating rooms, more than 50 beds, and dozens of staff, our facility provides immediate medical care and surgical aid for patients who otherwise may lose their lives before they can reach the nearest established medical center in Erbil, one to two hours away. Our hospital is the closest trauma center to frontline fighting and is operated in partnership with the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
The hospital arrived in Iraq on Christmas Day via chartered 747 from Greensboro, North Carolina. The plane also brought 5,000 hygiene kits; 5,000 cooking kits (including cooking pots and serving utensils); and 400 rolls of shelter plastic to aid those who have fled from the fighting.
Since October 2016, when the Iraqi army and coalition forces began this offensive against ISIS, more than 330,000 people have been displaced, about half of whom are children and about 60,000 of whom have fled western Mosul. Iraqi forces secured eastern Mosul in January—though ISIS attacks continue—and have recently retaken the airport, two bridges, and important government buildings in western Mosul. The battle now centers on Old Mosul in the northwest corner of the city—a symbolic area for ISIS as it contains the mosque where the caliphate was first announced. ISIS is now using chemical weapons in their attempt to hold their ground. The emergency field hospital has treated patients affected by these chemicals.
Samaritan’s Purse continues to provide physical and spiritual relief to the people of northern Iraq in other ways as well. In partnership with the World Food Programme, we are distributing food to thousands of families in multiple evacuee camps. Monthly rations of salt, sugar, cooking oil, chickpeas, rice, flour, and beans provide much needed sustenance to those who have left nearly everything to flee for their lives. We have also distributed hundreds of cook stoves to give the displaced a means to turn their staples into meals as well as thousands of jerrycans to transport their stove fuel. Food has also been provided to those returning to villages affected by the past two years of conflict. Samaritan's Purse has distributed around 3,000 metric tons of food so far in this response.
In addition, we provide water, sanitation, and hygiene services in several camps and transit stations for the displaced. We also offer nutritional services to these families as well. Recently during the course of one week, our team made 1,000 home visits to address health needs and screened more than 700 children for malnutrition. Over 12,000 women have received skilled breastfeeding support since our nutritional programming began in October 2016.
We have also given out medicine, clothing, shoes, and blankets to those recently displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas. Some who were displaced in 2014 when ISIS first invaded the region are now returning to villages freed from ISIS control. We are helping these families in various ways as well.
Our current response builds on nearly a decade of continuous work in northern Iraq. Children's programs, medical care, and other projects for those displaced by ISIS have hallmarked our efforts to provide relief in Jesus’ Name. Our Christian presence is welcomed in Iraq as an agent of peace between conflicting Shi’a and Sunni Muslims.
Please pray for our trauma hospital to be a beacon of hope to the hurting and that the families of each person treated will experience God’s love. Pray also for our continuing efforts to provide relief—food, clean water, clothing, and more—to many tens of thousands of adults and children.