Medical teams and volunteers on the scene following church bombings

Published: 2 July 2012 14:59 CET

Staff and volunteer from the Kenya Red Cross Society were among the first on the scene following two horrific church bombings in Garissa Town in the north east of the country yesterday.

A Catholic church and an African Inland Church were both attacked by men armed with pistols, rifles and explosives. At the African Inland Church, two police officers guarding the church were shot, and then the attackers began shooting indescriminately at worshippers after throwing grenades. Grenades were also used on the attack at the Catholic church.

17 people died at the scene and others died en route to the hospital. 75 others were injured. Initially, the local hospital staff was overwhelmed with injuries and the Kenya Red Cross Society deployed a medical team and an additional ambulance from the Dadaab refugee camp. The society was also able to respond to a government request for additional surgeons, anaestetists and blood supplies, which had been exhausted at the hospital. There was also a request to assist in the evacuation of seven critical patients to Nairobi, which was accomplished by hiring three air ambulances.

Abbas Gullet, the Kenya Red Cross Society’s Secretary General, said staff and volunteers had acted professionally and made a real difference in the most challenging circumstances. “I am very proud of our staff and volunteers who have demonstrated selflessness in their work, and put others before themselves to alleviate human suffering and bring hope to those in need,” he said.