Five workers for the French medical charity MSF have been kidnapped in Cameroon's Far North, a region concerned about jihadist insurgents, MSF and a senior local official told AFP on Friday.
Armed men in Fotokol, near the Nigerian border, entered a building used by MSF on Thursday and "took away five members of our team", the charity said in an email.
The five are made up of three humanitarian workers of Chadian, Senegalese and Franco-Ivorian nationality, and two Cameroonian security guards, a local administrative official said.
The Far North is a strip of land that lies between Nigeria to the west and Chad to the east.
It touches the swampy lands of the Lake Chad region, where Boko Haram jihadists and militants from the rival province of the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) are known for their attacks on troops and civilians.
In September 2019, six Cameroonian soldiers were killed near Fotokol by suspected members of Boko Haram.
Last August, 26 Chadians were killed in the swamps across the border.
But the local official warned that "there was no evidence" yet "to connect this incident with the (jihadist) attacks."
“We don't know if it was a simple robbery gone wrong. A safe was opened,” she said.
"The identity and motives of those behind this are unclear."
The army has launched a search for the five, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The violence in the Lake Chad area began with the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria in 2009.
Since then, more than 36,000 people have been killed, most of them in Nigeria, and three million have fled their homes, according to UN figures.
The attacks prompted countries in the region to establish a joint anti-jihadist mission, the Multinational Mixed Force (MMF), in 2015, bringing together troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
Six MMF troops - four Nigerians and two Nigerians - were killed last December during a raid on the marshes in which 22 jihadists were also killed, according to authorities.
ISWAP emerged in 2016 as a splinter group from Boko Haram amid a dispute over indiscriminate targeting of Muslim civilians and the use of female suicide bombers.
Boko Haram announced last June that its leader, Abubakar Shekau, had been killed in an internecine fight with ISWAP.
In addition to jihadist attacks in the north, Cameroon is battling an insurgency in two western regions, where militants from the country's Anglophone minority have launched a campaign for a separate state.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
“Everything felt strange,” says 14-year-old Nneoma Okonogha, who was treated for Lassa fever – a virus transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items that have been contaminated by rodents. “I thought I was really in a nightmare.” Once a person is ill with Lassa fever, they can pass it on to others should they contact the infected person's body fluids. Nneoma, along with her sister, Ukamaka and their mother, Priscilla, caught the viral haemorrhagic fever at the same time. All three of them were treated at the Alex Ekweme University Teaching Hospital in Abakiliki (AE-FUTHA), Ebonyi State, Nigeria. “It was so severe that when the children were shouting in pain, I couldn’t help them because I was also down with pain,” says Priscilla, who also works at the hospital as a civil servant. In Nigeria, Lassa fever is endemic – cases are found and reported almost every year. But after a severe outbreak in 2018, when more than 600 people were confirmed to be infected, and 171 people died, the World Health Organization deployed a team of specialists from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP) to several states including Ebonyi. In March 2018, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) started supporting the Lassa treatment centre at AE-FUTHA. Since then, our teams have been working closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to treat patients suffering from Lassa fever. The treatment has proven pertinent for the community, with over 15 patients treated for Lassa fever at the Abakaliki project in the first month of 2022 alone. Across Nigeria, there have been a total of 115 confirmed cases and 26 deaths throughout 30 local government areas in 11 states of the country. “I contracted Lassa fever in February 2021. When I tested positive, I was shocked to the bone,” says Anastasia, a Lassa survivor from Abakaliki. “It came like malaria, and I bought anti-malaria drugs from a pharmaceutical shop. When I took it for three days, I was still sick. In fact, my situation was worse.” Anastasia had Lassa fever, but thankfully she was able to access the anti-viral treatment she needed to recover. However, her first assumption that she had malaria is a common one. Lassa fever symptoms are very similar to malaria, making it difficult to diagnose. Many medical staff don’t have specific training on the detection and treatment of Lassa. As a result, patients often only receive an accurate diagnosis once they are at a severe stage of the disease, which is more challenging to manage. Since the beginning of our operations on Lassa fever in partnership with the MoH in Ebonyi state, the goal has been to tackle the root causes of Lassa fever and its broad spread impact on infected individuals. A trial of a rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) for Lassa fever is currently at the core of research at AE-FUTHA. If an RDT proves effective, it could help drastically reduce the waiting time for results from a laboratory test. “We want to see if the RDT could be a substitute in the management or diagnosis of Lassa fever,” says Okereke Michael Uche , MSF medical doctor. “Timing is important; a patient moves from a mild condition to severe. And when it becomes severe, it is more difficult to manage,” he says. To ensure continued progress in the fight against Lassa fever, our teams keep a continuous provision of drugs, lab supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE). We also train AE-FUTHA staff on clinical management and Infection Prevention Control (IPC) for Lassa fever. And to alleviate the psychological impact of the viral disease on infected or suspected patients and their families, mental health support is also provided. Stigma can be a heavy burden on Lassa fever patients. Some people have lost their jobs, been chased out of their own community, or even lost relationships because they were associated with Lassa fever, as a patient or a caregiver. We work to educate and sensitise communities through a team of health promotors. The team organises community meetings, health talks and awareness campaigns in villages and rural areas across seven local government areas in Ebonyi state. “The purpose of all this is to foster behavioural change; we talk to people one at a time to ensure that everybody gets the message and understands the causes and cures for Lassa,” says Benjamin Uzoma, MSF health promotion supervisor. Five survivors of Lassa fever also work alongside the health promotion teams to educate people about the disease directly from their own experiences with it. “What I did was to share my story,” says Anastasia, a Lassa fever survivor. “This helps other people know that Lassa fever is real, but that it can be cured if you are diagnosed and treated on time,” says Anastasia. “Lassa fever is a serious disease, but when the medical community and the communities are fully engaged and empowered with accurate information, then not only is the stigma reduced – but we can get people timely access to care and they can recover more quickly,” says Luigi Sportelli, MSF project medical referent.
An airstrike in southern Niger reportedly killed 12 people in total, including four children. MSF teams treated seriously injured children, including babies, at Madarounfa hospital after the airstrike.
On Friday afternoon, February 18, an airstrike hit a small village in the Madarounfa district of southern Niger, killing at least 12 people, including four children, and injuring 16 others, according to local sources.
MSF teams operating in the Madarounfa district hospital supported the Ministry of Health teams, in particular by providing medical supplies to treat seven injured children.
One of these children died shortly after arriving at the Madarounfa district hospital. Two others died after being transferred to the Maradi regional hospital. A fourth child, aged 20 months, was killed in the bombing, according to survivors. Six other adults reportedly died at the scene of the attack and two more died after being taken to hospital in Maradi.
“This is a horrible event... We performed first aid before transferring [the children] to Maradi hospital, but some of the injured did not survive,” said Dr. Souley Harouna, MSF representative in Niger.
According to survivors, a plane first flew over the village of Nachambé, near the village of Garin Kaoura in the Madarounfa district, located a few kilometers from the Nigerian border and inhabited by the Peuhl ethnic group. It then reportedly flew over the village again, dropping ammunition. Survivors claimed it was a Nigerian plane chasing armed men from a border town who had taken refuge in the town's school.
"This is a horrible event, unprecedented in the Madarounfa region," says Dr. Souley Harouna, MSF representative in Niger. “Our teams report that the injured children sustained open fractures and various wounds and post-traumatic injuries. We carried out first aid before transferring them to Maradi hospital, but some of the injured did not survive.”
Our teams work in the Maradi region, focusing on treating children with acute malnutrition and other childhood illnesses. Nearly 30,000 children were hospitalized in the four MSF-supported hospitals in the Maradi region in 2021. We are also helping people in the border state of Katsina, Nigeria.
Nigeria's military said on Monday it was investigating reports from neighboring Niger that it accidentally killed children in an airstrike against an armed group on the border.
Troops have been deployed in northwestern Nigeria, where heavily armed criminals known as bandits are terrorizing communities and forcing more than 70,000 people to flee to southern Niger, according to UN figures.
On Friday, seven children were killed and five wounded by a Nigerian airstrike, according to a local Niger governor.
"There was a mistake with the Nigerian attacks on the border that resulted in casualties on our territory in the village of Nachade," said Chaibou Aboubacar, governor of the Maradi region.
"The victims are 12 children, seven of them dead and five injured."
Nigeria has neither confirmed nor denied launching an airstrike in the area, but a military spokesman said an investigation was under way.
“We have seen the reports. There is an ongoing investigation," Defense Information Director Maj. Gen. Ohwonigho Jimmy Akpor told AFP, without giving further details.
Aboubacar said four children died instantly and three died on the way to hospital.
He said he visited the children's graves on Saturday, as well as the site of the airstrike.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which works in the nearby Madarounfa district hospital, gave a higher death toll of four children and eight adults, citing survivors.
The charity treated seven children, it said in a statement on Sunday.
“One of these children died shortly after arrival… Two others died after being transferred to Maradi regional hospital. A fourth child, aged 20 months, was killed in the shelling, according to survivors,” MSF said.
"Six other people, adults, reportedly died on the spot," MSF added, "and two more died after being transferred to Maradi hospital."
Niger has beefed up military patrols along its border with Nigeria since 2018 to prevent incursions by "bandits," who are known for killing and kidnapping merchants and stealing cattle.
Nigeria officially labeled the gangs as terrorists earlier this year, a move that analysts say appears aimed at unlocking more resources for the armed forces in the northwest.
The "bandits" made international headlines last year after kidnapping hundreds of students in a series of mass kidnappings of schools and universities.
Students are often released quickly after ransom payments, but many are still missing.
Niger and Nigeria are also fighting jihadist insurgencies.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
People with epilepsy face many challenges in low-resource countries like Liberia, where the disease often remains undiagnosed, untreated and ununderstood.
Epilepsy is a chronic brain disease characterized by recurrent seizures, which can range from brief involuntary movements to severe seizures. Seizures can be debilitating and dangerous for the person experiencing them and worrying for those around them. Without a medical diagnosis, families often turn to traditional or religious healers for a cure.
Amuchin Nango was nine years old when he sustained a head injury in a bicycle accident and began experiencing seizures, falling to the ground, shaking uncontrollably, even biting his tongue.
“His family was so confused that they didn't know what to do,” explains Abraham Kollie, a psychosocial worker with Médecins Sans Frontières/Médecins Sans Frontères (MSF) in Liberia. “At some point the family believed it was spiritual, like witchcraft. They took him to so many traditional healers in Liberia and Sierra Leone, but the treatments did not give any good response.”
At school, Nango had repeated seizures, and some of his classmates made it clear that they didn't want him there, perhaps thinking it was a contagious disease.
“Even the director had a problem with that,” recalls Nango. "I told my mother, there is no need for her to attend there."
It was only in January 2018, eight years after her symptoms began, that Nango found the help she needed. Months earlier, MSF had begun providing epilepsy and mental health treatment in collaboration with local health centers in Monrovia and other areas of Montserrado County. Nango's family learned about these services at a community meeting organized by MSF. Soon, he came with his family to Pipeline Health Center in Paynesville, where he was evaluated by a mental health doctor and ultimately diagnosed with epilepsy.
A forgotten crisis
Epilepsy is the world's most common chronic neurological disorder, affecting about 50 million people, according to the World Health Organization. It can have a variety of causes, including complications during childbirth or infections that affect the brain, and sometimes the cause cannot be determined.
“Around 80% of people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries, and almost three-quarters of them do not receive the treatment they need,” explains Léonard Nfor, a neurologist who recently completed an MSF mission in Liberia. . “In Africa the prevalence of this disease is very high and there is a lack of qualified personnel. Therefore, we must find a system where epilepsy can be treated despite the absence of specialists in the disease."
In Liberia, MSF has partnered with the Montserrado County Ministry of Health to train and supervise mental health doctors in five health centres. Doctors diagnose and treat epilepsy and psychiatric disorders under the guidance of specialized MSF staff, such as Nfor.
Medications play a key role in managing symptoms such as epileptic seizures, while counseling also helps patients understand how to manage their condition. Psychosocial workers and community health volunteers spread the word that treatment is available and work with families and communities to reduce the social stigma many patients experience.
The effort has grown since 2017 and now treats more than 1,200 patients with epilepsy and nearly 600 patients with psychiatric disorders.
Focusing on inclusion
Nango's experience of dropping out of school is far from unique. More than half of MSF's epilepsy patients are school-age children, but most do not attend school. Social stigma is the main reason around 10 per cent of these children drop out of school, MSF found, while other reasons include financial difficulties or health problems.
After Nango underwent treatment for epilepsy, it still took a lot of effort to allow her to return to school.
“Our psychosocial team continues to work with Mr. Nango and his family through home visits, phone calls and the provision of psychoeducation at his school,” says Kollie. “After intense epilepsy awareness raising with students and administrative staff, Mr. Nango was finally accepted back into the school.”
Two years ago, Nango graduated from high school and now proudly works as a high school teacher. He spreads the word that there is a treatment for epilepsy and has encouraged others with seizures to seek care. His own symptoms are well controlled with medication.
This February 14, 2022, International Epilepsy Day, MSF psychosocial workers are visiting health centers and schools in Montserrado County to raise awareness. Their t-shirts carry a clear message aimed at reducing the stigma that Nango and many other patients have experienced. They say: "Epilepsy is not contagious."
The international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the People's Health Movement (PHM) are calling on the South African government to revoke patents granted to pharmaceutical corporations Eli Lilly and Moderna for a drug for the COVID-19 and an mRNA vaccine. These patents in South Africa will likely undermine people's access to life-saving treatments and vaccines and could prolong the pandemic for everyone, everywhere.
Despite acknowledging that patents can be a barrier to access to medicines through its leadership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) COVID-19 TRIPS waiver proposal, South Africa granted a patent to the pharmaceutical corporation American Eli Lilly for baricitinib that currently limits access. to affordable generic versions of this medication. Baricitinib, an oral drug that is easy to administer, even in resource-limited settings like those where MSF operates, was recently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for people with severe and critical COVID-19.
“It is outrageous that people in South Africa are being denied access to life-saving COVID-19 treatments like baricitinib due to patents,” said Dr. Tom Ellman, director of the Southern Africa Medical Unit. of MSF. “While rich countries have been stockpiling tests, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the South African government has failed to address national access to medicines issues.”
Generic manufacturers in India and Bangladesh have made baricitinib available for less than $7 per 14-day treatment cycle, significantly less than Eli Lilly's price of $1,109 per 14-day treatment cycle in the US. Eli Lilly's patent monopoly on baricitinib in South Africa blocks production of and access to these low-cost generic versions in the country. Meanwhile, the company has priced him prohibitively high at $270 for a 14-day course of treatment in South Africa. The licenses that Eli Lilly signed with Indian generic companies in May 2021 are restrictive and do not include South Africa and many other countries.
"It's time for the South African government to revoke Eli Lilly's patent on baricitinib so that lower-cost generic versions of this drug are available to people who need them," Ellman said. "South Africa also needs to reform its patent law and must honor commitments to closely scrutinize all future patents to remove barriers that may hinder access to life-saving medical tools."
In addition to patent barriers on COVID-19 treatments, local production of biosimilar COVID-19 mRNA vaccines may be blocked by at least three patents that South Africa has granted to US-based Moderna for mRNA vaccines. These patents could make it legally risky for entities that acquire technologies from the WHO COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Technology Transfer Center in South Africa to manufacture their own vaccines. Moderna announced in October 2020 that it would not enforce its patents related to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines during the pandemic, but also created uncertainty at the time by stating that the pandemic could be over within a year. With the pandemic still ongoing, it's unclear when the company will begin enforcing its patents and with what force.
“The patents granted to Moderna related to mRNA vaccines may jeopardize the success of the WHO mRNA Vaccine Technology Transfer Centre, as well as the future of self-sustaining vaccine production in South Africa, and should be revoked immediately. ”, said Candice Sehoma, MSF Access. Campaign Advocacy Advisor for South Africa. “While South Africa continues to lead the landmark TRIPS waiver proposal at the WTO, the government must also take immediate action to address barriers to access to medicines domestically and prioritize patent law reform.”
Patents are not just an issue with COVID-19 medical tools. The South African government must also take urgent action to reform outdated patent laws that allow pharmaceutical corporations to gain undeserved patent monopolies that block the affordable production of generic and biosimilar vaccines. Currently, weak examinations of South African patent applications make it difficult to challenge unwarranted patents held by pharmaceutical corporations. This has led to the proliferation of undeserved patents on medicines and vaccines in the country, preventing more affordable versions from entering the market.
In response to advocacy efforts by civil society organizations, the South African government committed to pushing through patent law reforms in 2013 and adopted a revised IP policy in 2018, but this will only become effective when the patent laws are signed. revisions of the national law. It is unacceptable that this process continues to be delayed, especially during a global pandemic where patent law reform could encourage local production and supply and make COVID-19 medical tools more accessible to the people who need them.
“Global inequality in access to COVID-19 medical tools has made it abundantly clear that South Africa must focus on creating local, independent production and supply of vaccines and treatments to ensure access for people in this pandemic and beyond.” , He said. Lauren Paremoer, PHM member in South Africa. “The South African government must prioritize the health of the people over the assured profits of pharmaceutical corporations through patent monopolies and finally reform its patent law so that frivolous patents no longer prevent generic producers from entering the market to produce and supply more affordable medical tools. We've said it before and we'll say it again: Medicines shouldn't be a luxury."
More than 14,000 people have been forced from their homes by the escalating conflict and are now seeking safety and basic means of survival.GENEVA, Switzerland, February 4, 2022/APO Group/ --
A recent surge in violence in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province has displaced thousands of people already affected by five years of conflict. At the same time, Mozambique is currently at high risk of extreme weather events, with an annual cycle of tropical storms leaving people with little time to recover between storms.
On top of that, many people in Cabo Delgado are now extremely vulnerable due to displacement and lack of access to healthcare. In the past two weeks, local authorities have reported more than 20 attacks in four villages, with 2,800 houses damaged or destroyed by fire.
The current crisis is concentrated in the center of Cabo Delgado, particularly in the districts of Meluco and southern Macomia. Since the end of January, more than 14,000 people have been forced from their homes by the escalating conflict and are now seeking safety and basic means of survival. This is the largest wave of displacement in several months.
"Violent attacks and ongoing insecurity in various districts of downtown Cabo Delgado have driven thousands of people from their homes with nothing more than what they can carry, at the very moment when the cyclone and rainy season begins," he says. Raphael Veicht, head of MSF. emergency unit.
“This is a very dangerous combination. Our teams are responding to new waves of forced displacement by providing people with basic medical care, as well as much-needed household items and shelter. We are extremely concerned about the protection of civilians within this acute and escalating conflict,” says Veicht.
Last week, Tropical Storm Ana, the first tropical storm of the season, made landfall in the Nampula and Tete provinces of Mozambique. Displaced people in Cabo Delgado province will be extremely vulnerable to future tropical storms, as many live without shelter, clean water or sanitation. Storms often cause flooding, which significantly increases the risk of outbreaks of life-threatening communicable diseases, such as malaria and diarrheal diseases.
In the central province of Cabo Delgado, many displaced people have now congregated in small towns and cities, such as Mitambo, Ancuabe and Nanjua, where MSF teams have been running mobile clinics and distributing food, shelter and hygiene kits to 800 families. since the end of January. Yet these towns lack the basic infrastructure to support so many people, especially clean water, housing, and access to health care.
“In Mitambo, where we carried out mobile clinics and food distributions, the situation became very tense as more and more displaced people arrived in the village,” says Jean-Jacques Mandagot, MSF project coordinator.
“Some slept in the fields, while others took refuge in thatched-roof houses that had been vacated by residents and had already moved on to a safer place. Some people stayed one night and continued looking for safer areas, while others stayed longer because they didn't have the means to continue,” says Mandagot.
There is no permanent health center in Mitambo, and the town lacks vital infrastructure, such as clean water supplies. Previously, residents traveled to a health center in a nearby town, but with the current insecurity, people have had to travel much further and at greater risk, while some people were unable to access medical care because they could not pay. the trip or they were not willing. to take those risks. As a result, our mobile clinics in Mitambo at the end of January had to fill in the gaps.
“Each day, our team provided more than 200 medical consultations and we treated more than 2,000 patients in a single week,” says Mandagot. “We have seen many people with malaria, cough, fever and diarrhoea. Many patients also have physical pain in their legs and back from their arduous journeys to flee from danger.
“A man told me that he had lost all his possessions, his house, his food reserves, leaving him with nothing. He said that now he was forced to beg for food and that he no longer wanted to be near his town or anywhere that would remind him of the life he had lost.”
On January 26, a town near Mitambo was attacked and shots were heard, prompting people to move further south towards the town of Maua in search of safety. Hundreds of thousands of people are currently affected by the violence in Cabo Delgado province, which has intensified in the last five years.
With the start of the rainy and cyclone season, the cumulative impact of years of conflict and the worsening humanitarian emergency, it is more important than ever that MSF teams have unrestricted and safe access to the area so they can provide people the care they so desperately need. medical care.
“It is absolutely crucial that medicines and medical supplies can be imported quickly, without bureaucratic delays, so that MSF can scale up the provision of vital medical care in Cabo Delgado province,” says Veicht.
It is absolutely crucial that medicines and medical supplies can be imported quickly, without bureaucratic delays, so that MSF can scale up the provision of life-saving medical care.GENEVA, Switzerland, February 4, 2022/APO Group/ --
A recent surge in violence in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province has displaced thousands of people and left them with precarious access to health care. To make matters worse, the country, one of those most at risk of extreme weather events, is heading into its annual cycle of tropical storms and faces an increased risk of life-threatening disease outbreaks. Displaced people living without shelter, clean water or adequate sanitation are especially vulnerable to diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea. The first tropical storm of the season, Tropical Storm Ana, made landfall in the Nampula and Tete provinces of Mozambique last week.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is responding to new waves of forced displacement by providing basic medical care, mobile clinics, and much-needed household and shelter items. “Violent attacks and ongoing insecurity in various central districts of Cabo Delgado have driven thousands of people from their homes with nothing more than what they can carry at the time the cyclone and rainy season begins,” said Raphael Veicht. , MSF head of emergency. Unit. “This is a very dangerous combination. We are extremely concerned about the protection of civilians within this acute and escalating conflict."
The biggest wave of displacement in months
The current crisis in the region is concentrated in the center of the province, particularly in the districts of Meluco and southern Macomia. Local authorities have reported more than 20 attacks in four villages in the last two weeks, with 2,800 houses damaged or destroyed by fire. Since the end of January, more than 14,000 people have been forced from their homes and are now seeking safety and basic means of survival.
Many displaced people have now congregated in small towns and cities, such as Mitambo, Ancuabe and Nanjua, where MSF teams have been running mobile clinics and distributing food, shelter and hygiene kits to 800 families since the end of January. These towns lack the basic infrastructure to support so many people, especially clean water, housing, and access to health care.
“In Mitambo, where we carried out mobile clinics and food distributions, the situation was very tense as more and more displaced people arrived in the village,” said Jean-Jacques Mandagot, MSF project coordinator. “Some slept in the fields, while others took refuge in thatched-roof houses that had been vacated by residents and had already moved on to a safer place. Some people stayed one night and continued looking for safer areas, while others stayed longer because they didn't have the means to carry on."
Increased health risks and psychological turmoil
There is no permanent health center in Mitambo, so residents must travel to a health center in a nearby town for care. However, with the current insecurity, people have had to travel much further and at greater risk, while some people were unable to access medical care because they could not pay for the trip or were not willing to take such risks. As a result, at the end of January, MSF's mobile clinics in Mitambo were very busy.
"Every day [in January], our team provided more than 200 medical consultations and treated more than 2,000 patients in a single week,” said Mandagot. “We have seen many people with malaria, cough, fever and diarrhoea. Many patients also have physical pain in their legs and back from their arduous journeys to flee from danger. A man told me that he had lost all his possessions, his house, his food reserves, leaving him with nothing. He said that he was now forced to beg for food and that he no longer wanted to be near his village or anywhere that would remind him of the life he had lost.”
On January 26, a town near Mitambo was attacked and shots were heard from the town, prompting people to move further south towards the town of Maua in search of safety.
With the start of the rainy and cyclone season, the cumulative impact of years of conflict and the worsening humanitarian emergency, it is more important than ever that MSF teams have unrestricted and safe access to the area so they can provide people what they need so much. medical care.
“It is absolutely crucial that medicines and medical supplies can be imported quickly, without bureaucratic delays, so that MSF can scale up the provision of vital medical care in Cabo Delgado province,” Veicht said.
MSF has been working in Mozambique since 1984, responding to medical and humanitarian emergencies across the country, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malnutrition, malaria, cholera, natural disasters, COVID-19 and displacement due to conflict. In Cabo Delgado province, MSF teams respond to emergencies and help fill gaps in medical care for both the host population and the growing number of displaced people, often working alongside health authorities and other partners. .
The objective was clear: reduce the number of serious cases in the pediatric unit to avoid a scenario similar to that of 2018GENEVA, Switzerland, February 3, 2022/APO Group/ --
In September 2018, in the south of Niger, around 850 children arrived each week at our pediatric unit in Magaria. The vast majority of admissions were for malaria and malnutrition. It was the busiest period since MSF started working there in 2005. The unit became the largest pediatric ward for malnutrition and malaria in the world, with more than 600 staff working around the clock.
“We used to admit about 140 children a day. It was not easy,” says Awa Abou Amadou, an MSF nurse at the Magaria pediatric unit. Among other nurses and medical staff, she worked for many hours at a time, sometimes from dusk to dawn and beyond.
While our hospital was already terribly overwhelmed with even additional beds and staff, it was likely that some of the seriously ill children in the community were not getting the care they needed.
“When we went out at night to return to our families, our minds and thoughts were still with the children in the hospital,” says Amadou.
"We always wondered what it was like in the most remote communities, where people couldn't afford to go to the hospital." For MSF, 2018 was a turning point in the history of the project. This “heavy machine” was not easy to operate and something had to be done about it.
Since then, we have been investing in community-led models of care. In 2021, our teams were able to avoid a similar peak scenario, but the journey to get here wasn't always easy.
Avoiding a seasonal death spike in Niger requires more than just a medical solution: it is multifactorial and requires more efforts. After the peak of 2018, we began to increase our presence in nearby towns and cities, whether it be supporting local health centers, reinforcing observation and stabilization rooms, or increasing community work at the village level.
The objective was clear: reduce the number of serious cases in the pediatric unit to avoid a scenario similar to that of 2018. The strategy has been managed through various activities with the support of hundreds of members of the medical, paramedical and logistics team. We have also worked in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health as the main responder in the Zinder region.
The detention of our staff in connection with their medical work is unacceptable.GENEVA, Switzerland, January 26, 2022/APO Group/ --
Sudanese authorities detained nine members of our Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff in Khartoum on the night of January 24 and released them the following morning.
At the time of their arrest, our team was returning to the MSF office from the hospital where they had been working that day.
The nine staff members were held overnight at a Khartoum police station and questioned about the organization's medical activities before being released on the morning of 25 January. They were not subjected to physical violence during their detention.
Our medical action in Sudan is based on one thing only: where there are medical needs that require treatment. Michel-Oliver Lacharité, Head of Emergencies at MSF
“The detention of our staff in connection with their medical work is unacceptable,” said Michel-Oliver Lacharité, MSF head of emergencies. “While it is positive that our team is now out of detention, it is clear that they never should have been detained in the first place.”
"Today, some of our activities are suspended in Khartoum while we work to ensure the safety of our teams," added Lacharité. “We hope that we can quickly resume all our assistance to people in the capital.”
“We are working to help city hospitals care for injured people, as well as supporting them in responding to a worrying increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.”
"Today, some of our activities are suspended in Khartoum while we work to ensure the safety of our teams," added Lacharité. “We hope that we can quickly resume all our assistance to people in the capital.”
MSF is registered in Sudan and has all the necessary authorizations for our medical programs. We are working in eight states across the country and our work is funded solely through private donations - we do not work with any government funding.