There has been war raging in Mosul since October 2016 between the Iraqi government and Islamic State militant group leaving over 1 million innocent civilians dead, homeless or in hiding. In 2004 the population of Mosul was over 1.8 million, by 2016 over a quarter had already fled by the time fighting began.
Of those still alive in the city, hundreds try to escape daily using the only road South from West Mosul. It is no surprise that this path to freedom is plagued by sniper attacks, mortar blasts and suicide bombers, not to mention the gunfire from over head warplanes.
20km down this road medicines san frontier are running a trauma hospital and Birmingham Doctor Ken Lo was recently in touch with the media to give his account of working in one of the most dangerous areas on earth.
His patients are mostly civilians and a large proportion are children injured in bomb blasts having been trapped for months in basements. Given the squalid conditions these people have been forced to endure many have infected wounds and raging sepsis. Others have had to lie next to dead bodies for days.
In conditions such as this were your resources are limited it is extremely difficult to decide who is most likely to benefit from the few bags of bloods you have or which patient deserves your immediate attention.
Morality is tested; do you use 4 blood bags and an hour trying to save a 5 year old boy who is missing a limb from a bomb blast with several large shrapnel injuries whose blood pressure has crashed and is unlikely to survive or do you spend the next 15 minutes rating the 80 year old gentleman with a single wound to his abdomen.
Challenges like this are faced daily by the teams out there and they never seek praise for their actions. Medical professionals are needed daily and there will probably never be enough hands to meet the demand and need of these people.
For more information or if you would like to donate, please visit MSF website.