Chad: Seriously injured people transferred from Darfur
GENEVA, Switzerland, April 24, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Over the past two weeks, 18 seriously injured people have been transferred from Darfur to Abéché Hospital, in eastern Chad, by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The injured are among the tens of thousands of people who have fled Um Dukhum, in Darfur, 10 kilometres from the border with Chad, since the beginning of April following inter-community clashes. The violence resulted in the displacement of people to Tissi, a remote town in Chad that is hard to reach by road.
"Because we have a surgical team at the regional hospital in Abéché, the main medical facility in eastern Chad, we naturally offered to provide care for the most severely injured patients," said Hélène Plennevaux, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Abéché.
"Four injured patients were first brought in overland by a local non-governmental organization, as the runway of the Tissi airfield was unusable," said Ms Plennevaux. Beginning 17 April, after the runway had been returned to service with help from Médecins Sans Frontières and support from the local authorities, 14 other patients were transferred aboard an ICRC aircraft for surgical treatment by the ICRC team in Abéché.
In addition, the ICRC gave to Médecins Sans Frontières personnel in Tissi a dispensary tent, two 45-cubic-metre water reservoirs, 50 body bags, and supplies for the treatment of up to 50 patients with weapon-related injuries.
"The ICRC continues to monitor the situation on the ground," said Ms Plennevaux. "We stand ready to organize further transfers of patients if necessary."
The ICRC has been working in Chad since 1978. It opened a sub-delegation in Abéché in 2004 after conflict erupted in Darfur, and has been providing support for the city's hospital ever since. The ICRC currently has eight medical staff working there.