Health

Russian Physician Leonid Roshal to Negotiate Evacuation of Wounded Iraqi Children in Geneva - 2 April, 2003

Head of the emergency surgery and traumas of the children's age department of the Children's Health scientific-research institute of paediatrics Professor Roshal is arriving in Geneva on Wednesday to decide the question of setting up a "green corridor" for evacuating children from the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Basra.

As children's surgeon told journalists, he has to discuss the possibility of accompanying children, rendering humanitarian assistance and ensuring security of medical personnel. Furthermore, in the course of the meeting it is planned to determine the countries ready to receive Iraqi children on their territory.

The decision as to what corridor - marine, aerial or land - will be used for taking children out of Baghdad and Basra will be taken after the end of the talks and in co-ordination with the ICRC, he noted.

According to the Professor, to implement the project "in the immediate future" it is planned to establish a co-ordinating committee to include representatives of the ICRC, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, as well as the Emergencies Ministry of Russia and the Russian Red Cross Committee.

Roshal said that he was ready to begin evacuation of children in 7-10 days if the authorities of Iraq and the troops of the coalition sanction the organisation of the "green corridor". He stated that, according to the Iraqi Ambassador, there are 95 wounded children in Baghdad. But Roshal holds the view that their number can be larger.

If the "green corridor" is provided, Roshal is planning first to take the Iraqi children to the adjoining and then to third countries. After the end of the medical treatment in hospitals of these countries, international organisations will consider the possibility of accommodating the children at "international homes" and in families till the end of the war operations in Iraq.

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