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From the Field
Relief Workers' Report

GLOBAL SIKHS is an international relief effort to help the victims of the Tsunami in South East Asia. The mission is open to people from all races, religions and nationalities. The mission is a partnership between Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia, a 41-year old Malaysian-based youth organization, UNITED SIKHS, an international non-profit human development NGO, and Waves of Mercy, a group of Langkawi-based sailors. Our mission is to assist the humanitarian relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia, in the most effective manner possible.

Medical Team Attends to a Mother Way Into Delivery
(Jan 14)
By Darshan Kaur

WHEN the GLOBAL SIKHS relief mission left for Aceh last week, they took enough medical supplies to dress wounds and provide cure for basis to severe ailments. Little did they know that they would be performing a caesarean (section) operation.

That's exactly what our doctors had to do yesterday (Jan 13) on Pulau Weh, the small island just north of Banda Aceh, which is now the base for GLOBAL SIKHS' operations.

About two weeks after the Tsunami disaster, the multi-national and multi-race GLOBAL SIKHS medical team carried-out their first major surgery at the Sabang Hospital in Pulau Weh at about 12.30am (local time) on Thursday.

The two and a half hour emergency operation was performed on an Acehnese woman who was already in labour for 72 hours.

"Numerous visits to midwives proved futile for the 35-year-old mother of four," said Ranjit Kaur, an anesthesiologist who is part of the four-member operating team. She added the entire surgery was a race against time as the mother would have died due to a ruptured uterus.

"It took us about three hours to sterilize the operation theater and get our medical equipment ready. The mother was unable to deliver normally as she had lost more than 1.5 liters of blood, her blood pressure was high and she was suffering in pain," explained Ranjit.

"Despite all our efforts, it was agonizing to lose the baby. The infant was blue when she came out of her mother's womb."

The medical team was lead by Dr. Kanta, Dr Ranjit, nurse Mahinder Kaur and a paramedic, Gurpreet Singh from Canada.

There is only one hospital in Sabang. It lost five out of nine doctors in the tsunami. The GLOBAL SIKHS team - comprising volunteers mainly from the SIKH NAUJAWAN SABHA MALAYSIA and the UNITED SIKHS - are assisting the local doctors to man the hospital. Gurpreet is one of the members from UNITED SIKHS.

The other important partner in the mission is the WAVES OF MERCY, the group of Langkawi-based sailors, who made available the vessels to ship the people and goods to Aceh.

Elsewhere, the other medical personnel with GLOBAL SIKHS went to various remote parts on Pulau Weh to treat the sick and injured. They spent about 13 hours at a refugee camp in the town of Ibioh to help some 750 victims.

The team has reported to command centre in Kuala Lumpur that they are in dire need of malaria tablets and measles vaccinations. "All the GLOBAL SIKHS doctors on the island have been conducting clinical and counselling sessions through an interpreter," he added.

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