We wish all those celebrating a very happy festive season.
The room is clean, quiet and well lit.
Before us are doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers, but none of them are wearing their white coats. They’re in their own clothes – jackets and shirts, some of them even fancy ones.
‘What time is it?’
‘OK. Let’s get started.’
We’re inside Al-Thawra Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen’s biggest state hospital.
But we’re not in the operating theatre or a crowded corridor or a room with all its beds full.
We can’t see the wounded people, the patients arriving, the stretchers hurtling past.
So, what are we doing here?
A few days ago, at the training centre in this hospital, we opened the first six wards for training in pre-hospital trauma care, or PHTC.
A five-day course, with lessons, classroom discussions and practical exercises, for 120 people.
Our workers from Yemen are listening to Matteo, our nurse and focal point for training, as he explains how to treat patients with cranial trauma. They switch their gaze between him and Hend, their colleague, who is translating from English to Arabic. Soon we’ll be kneeling down round a dummy, to put into practice what Matteo has been describing.
Once the courses have finished here at Sana’a, it will be time to bring them to Hajjah, in the country’s northeast.
We are working hard there, turning a bombed building into a Surgical Centre for War Victims, where the people struck by the conflict and the resulting desperate humanitarian crisis can get life-saving care and treatment.
Because there’s a war on there.
Because the wounded people there need more than just our titles, they need our skills.
Because here, as in Italy or any other country, every ill person has the right to the best possible treatment.
Because ‘Our patients don’t choose us. It’s us who choose them.’
So, training is more than a choice, it’s a duty.
Roberto, EMERGENCY nurse