This summer, I worked with Epicentre, the research organization of Doctors Without Borders in Jordan at a reconstructive surgical hospital which serves victims of conflict from Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, and Syria. Since the hospital’s beginning in 2006, it has served over 3,000 patients, all free of charge. However, many patients arrive for surgery with antibiotic resistant infections, perhaps due to delays in receiving medical care and/or previous contact with severely compromised health systems. It is critical to identify the relevant pathogens because war-associated injuries commonly become infected and antimicrobial drug-resistant bacteria are becoming more common in the Middle East. Thus, Epicentre has been researching the prevalence and association of multiple drug resistant organisms with functional outcomes for those undergoing reconstructive surgery. For my internship, I oversaw data collection for this study.
I’d like to thank the Wallenberg legacy for their support in this humanitarian work. I believe that Raoul Wallenberg would agree that serving victims of conflict in great need is of utmost importance.