Central African Republic: Situation calms but healthcare remains a challenge
LONDON, United-Kingdom, April 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Ten days after the opposition group Seleka took control of Bangui in Central African Republic, life in the capital is gradually returning to normal, but accessing healthcare is still a major challenge for most people, say teams from the international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Parts of Bangui are still without electricity and water, while only one hospital in the city is functioning and other health facilities are very short of staff.
An MSF surgical team is working in Bangui Community Hospital, where it has operated on 40 critically injured patients in recent days.
Some 341 patients have been admitted to the hospital in the past ten days. Initially the majority had gunshot wounds, but the MSF team is currently treating mainly victims of traffic accidents and patients with cuts and other injuries.
“In the coming days we will focus our efforts on health centres in Bangui and on the outskirts of the city,” says Sylvain Groux, MSF head of mission. Over the past week MSF has donated drugs and medical supplies to health centres across the capital, and has continued to strengthen its teams across the country.
On 30 and 31 March, Seleka forces took control of the town of Paoua, northwest of Bangui, where MSF runs a medical project. There were sporadic outbreaks of violence, but the situation in the town has now stabilised.
MSF teams are also resuming their activities in Kabo, Batangafo and Ndélé, northeast of Bangui, and are continuing to provide medical care at a project in Zémio, in the southeast of the country.
In Boguila, MSF's office was looted and one of its vehicles was stolen. Despite this, it is continuing to provide medical care with a reduced team.
MSF plans to send a team to investigate reports of violence, hospitals being looted and serious disruption to health services in Bossangoa, south of Boguila.