Samaritan’s Purse Surgeon Helps War Victims in South Sudan, Africa
Dr. Atar cares for war-wounded and sick locals and refugees at a Samaritan's Purse-supported hospital in South Sudan, Africa.
Dr. Atar Evan Adaha is a surprisingly cheerful man for someone
who has spent the last 16 years trying to sew thousands of victims
of the civil war in Sudan, Africa back together again.
The youthful looking surgeon attributes his near-constant smile
to his faith in Jesus Christ - The Great Physician.
Dr. Atar, as he is affectionately known by his patients and
Samaritan's Purse colleagues, received his medical training in
Egypt, then began working at Samaritan's Purse's hospital at Kurmuk
(now part of South Sudan, Africa) in 1997. That was near the
midpoint of what would become a 20-year civil war between Sudan's
mostly Arab population in the north and mostly black African
population in the south.
At the hospital in Kurmuk, Dr. Atar operated on not only
civilians but soldiers - members of the Sudanese People's
Liberation Army intent on overthrowing the government in Khartoum,
Sudan and its persecution of black Africans.
His willingness to aid members of the Sudanese People's
Liberation Army made Dr. Atar, and the hospital itself, a target
for attacks by northern Sudan government soldiers. Those attacks
continued long after the 2005 peace settlement, due in part to the
fact that some Sudanese People's Liberation Army soldiers found
themselves on the northern side of the border when South Sudan,
Africa gained official independence last July, and have continued
to fight against the north since then.
Khartoum, Sudan military leaders bombed the area around Kurmuk
hospital so regularly and aggressively that Samaritan's Purse
abandoned the site in November 2011 and moved the medical personnel
and equipment to the Doro refugee camp near the South Sudanese city
of Maban, where we are helping to provide water, food, medical aid,
and other relief services.
Dr. Atar is admired by the South Sudanese for remaining in
Kurmuk, Sudan until every other staff member had been evacuated and
almost all equipment removed - continuing to operate on patients
while bombs fell nearby. He is also viewed as a hero in the Doro
refugee camp for his willingness to put in crushingly long hours -
sometimes 24 at a time - as the only surgeon in the region with a
population of more than 200,000 people.
The next nearest surgical facility is an eight-hour drive away.
During a typical day recently, Dr. Atar's patients included several
people with broken bones, including one with a broken femur, others
with internal injuries (including a young man with a ruptured
abdomen), and a soldier whose injuries from an explosion included
the loss of both eyes and part of his lips.
At the end of his time in the Samaritan's Purse-built operating
room, Dr. Atar carefully went from bed to bed in the neighboring
wards, talking with, encouraging, and clasping hands with almost
When someone suggested to Dr. Atar that he deserves public
recognition for his passionate and loving commitment to his
patients, the smiling doctor thanked God for his medical
giftedness, and thanked Samaritan's Purse for its faithful support
of his work in Kurmuk, Sudan and now in the Doro refugee camp.
"If it wasn't for Samaritan's Purse, I don't know how many lives
I would have lost. So much would not have been possible without
Ways you can help
Please pray for Dr. Atar and others who are using their skills to help people who do not have access to medical treatment. Pray that God would protect them and use them as they serve others, and that He would send other doctors so Dr. Atar can rest and be refreshed.
Your generous gift will help us continue to provide invaluable support for refugees in South Sudan who are in desperate need. Donate Here