Treating Patients, Seeking a Cure for Darfur's Terrors
Roberta Gately, R.N., has dedicated herself to saving lives in some of the world’s deadliest places, including Iraq and Sudan. She recently returned to Sudan’s Darfur region, where a brutal conflict has claimed 50,000 lives and uprooted more than a million people. The Sudan government seems unable or unwilling to reign in armed militias that are attacking civilians in what United Nations officials have called the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
Roberta is part of an IRC health care team working in camps where people driven from their homes in Darfur have found shelter. She describes caring for her patients as a staggering and humbling responsibility. "We have the medicine and the ability to treat them, to make their illnesses disappear," she says. "What we lack is the ability to treat their real ailments, to erase the horrific events they have witnessed and move them safely home."
These horrors include one that has not been widely reported — children being burnt alive. Roberta recently shared two stories of survival with BBC News Online.