Marylanders say lack of nurses hurts Kuwait

May 24, 1991|By Marina Sarris | Marina Sarris,Evening Sun Staff

War-ravaged Kuwait has enough medical supplies for its hospitals, but it suffers from a "terrible shortage" of nurses and medical technicians, according to a visiting Maryland health official.

State Health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini yesterday described the conditions observed by a team of 38 Maryland physicians and health-care workers who traveled to Kuwait to provide medical assistance.

Sabatini and Dr. James A. D'Orta, who chairs the Maryland International Health Task Force Inc., spoke by phone from Kuwait yesterday with reporters in Baltimore. Task force members left for Kuwait Sunday on a weeklong mission to perform medical procedures and advise Kuwait on ways to rebuild its medical system.

Although able to meet most medical needs, Kuwait does not have enough nurses, technicians and medical specialists, Sabatini said.

Numerous unexploded shells and land mines left behind by Iraqi forces pose a particular threat to children. "There are two to four deaths each day as a result of children picking up unexploded ordnance," Sabatini said.

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