Deeply concerned by violence in Gaza Strip. We are saddened by deaths + injuries that occurred today + over past weeks. It is inexcusable that civilians, journalists + children have been victims. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure civilians are protected.
— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) May 14, 2018
The "all parties" business has a touch of Trump's response to the Charlottesville violence last August that led to the murder of a protester. Trump tried to claim some moral equivalence for both sides, including his white supremacist supporters.
Chrystia is not just "deeply concerned" but even "saddened" by this ongoing carnage. What a load of whitewash made all the worse by the fact that Israeli snipers deliberately targeted medical personnel at the protests, bagging 19 doctors and paramedics for the day, one of them, a Canadian doctor from London, Ontario, Tarek Loubani.
Dr. Tarek Loubani said it happened during a "lull" in the protest Monday, as he was standing with a group of paramedics about 25 metres away from the protest area
"There were no fires, there was no smoke. We had clear lines of sight to all three fortified sniper posts," said Loubani.
"All of the sudden I heard a bang, and I found myself on the ground. I looked at my leg, I saw blood."
Loubani said his colleague, a paramedic named Musa Abuhassanin, came over and began working on his injured leg.
About an hour later, Abuhassanin was shot [in the throat] and killed while attempting to rescue another person, Loubani said.
"The first rule of medical rescue is that you don't become part of the situation, you're no good to anybody if you're shot too," said Loubani, adding that his team had taken extraordinary measures to identify themselves to snipers as medical professionals.
Loubani wore a full green outfit; the paramedics wore high-visibility vests."Deeply saddened." Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Sure.
UPDATE - Canada's own hero in Gaza.
Well there is an uplifting story for Canada in this after all. It has to do with noneother than Dr. Tarek Loubani who is featured in an interview with 3Dprint.com and the tourniquets that have saved so many civilian lives in Gaza.
Dr. Loubani is known for creating a 3D printed stethoscope that recently received clinical validation and was made for about 30 cents. Because of the blockade, hospitals in the Gaza region have faced a critical shortage of medical supplies, even simple ones like stethoscopes. The goal of the open source Glia Project is to create those much-needed medical supplies using 3D printing and make them available to whoever needs them. As Dr. Loubani, along with Dr. Mohammed Al-Attar and 25 other trained first responders entered the field at the protest site, they brought with them hundreds of 3D printed tourniquets, ready to attend to those with severe limb injuries.
“Reducing hemorrhagic deaths from limb exsanguination became a cornerstone project of the newly formed Hayat Center for Emergency and Crisis Management, based at the Islamic University of Gaza,” Dr. Loubani said. “The center has been engaged in projects like Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Basic Life Support (BLS) and Trauma Life Support (TLS). When the center tried to obtain CAT tourniquets for its new ‘Stop Bleeding’ campaign, they were almost impossible to obtain.”
This was due to the high cost of the tourniquets as well as the blockade – however, as Dr. Loubani points out, even if they could obtain Combat Application Tourniquets, CATs are specifically designed for soldiers, grown men with larger limbs. The Gaza population is mostly children, with nearly 45% under the age of 14.
“CATs do not work on a pediatric population, which would have automatically excluded most of the patient population we expect,” Dr. Loubani said.
So when the Glia Project team was approached by the Hayat Center and members of Gaza’s disaster committee, they readily agreed to develop a tourniquet using their locally manufactured, solar powered Prusa i3 MK2 3D printers and locally available and recycled filament. The team created the tourniquet for both adult and pediatric use, beginning about a year ago and reaching the field trial stage by early 2018.
“We dry-tested the tourniquets in laboratory conditions. Even in initial paramedic field trials, tourniquets were generally deployed in single-victim situations with controlled scenes,” he said. “In the field, we were trying to put tourniquets on patients while literally running, under live fire, being teargassed, or occasionally all three. This was suboptimal.”
The team returned to the field on May 14th, armed with 200 tourniquets. The old models were pulled, and the 100 units at the Hayat Center were recovered for field use. 78 of the tourniquets were used on patients whose injuries met the criteria, and not a single one failed. That didn’t mean it was a good day, though – 17 paramedics from the team were wounded and one was killed, and Dr. Loubani himself sustained a gunshot wound to the leg. Overall, 52 people were killed and 2,410 wounded on May 14th.
The pain and violence happening in Gaza are ongoing, and no one can say how long the crisis will stretch on, or how many more lives will be lost. But because of brave and resourceful individuals like those working on the Glia Project, the number of lives lost is fewer than it would have been without them and their 3D printed medical tools.If anyone deserves the Order of Canada it is surely Dr. Tarek Loubani even if it does embarrass the government of the day.
“If you would like to participate in this project, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are more technically inclined, check out the tourniquet project’s Github page, where you can file issues or make pull requests,” Dr. Loubani concludes, as more help is always needed.