April 04, 2013

Ten days after the opposition group Seleka took over the city of Bangui, life in the capital is gradually returning to normal. MSF continues its medical activities and is strengthening teams across the country. However, access to health care remains limited and medical facilities are understaffed. Outside Bangui, the population is beginning to recover from the recent upheaval and are returning to their daily lives.

Surgical Activities in Bangui

The Community Hospital is the only functional hospital in the city and parts of the capital are still without power and water. Despite the poor conditions, MSF has carried out approximately 40 surgeries on patients in critical condition. Over a 10-day period, 341 patients were admitted to hospital. In the early days of the fighting the majority of patients suffered from gunshot wounds, but MSF teams are now treating more victims of traffic accidents and patients suffering from cuts and other non–conflict related injuries.

"In the coming days we will focus our efforts on health centers in Bangui and on the outskirts of the city," says Sylvain Groux, MSF head of mission in CAR. Over the past week MSF has been donating equipment and medicine to hospitals and health centers across the capital as well.

MSF Services Beyond the Capital

Over Easter weekend, Seleka forces took control of Paoua, a town northwest of Bangui where MSF has a project. This takeover precipitated sporadic outbreaks of violence, but the situation in the town has now stabilized. MSF teams are resuming their activities northeast of Bangui on the outskirts of Kabo, Batangafo, and Ndélé, and continue to provide medical care at a project in Zemio in the southeast. In Boguila, despite an armed robbery and looting of a vehicle, MSF has maintained medical activities, albeit with a skeleton team. MSF will begin an exploratory mission to Bossangoa, south of Boguila, after receiving reports of violence, looting of hospitals, and serious disruption to health services.