August 12, 2010

MSF has provided humanitarian aid to people living in villages affected by wood fires in Ryazan region, approximately 124 miles from Moscow.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has provided humanitarian aid to people living in villages affected by wood fires in the Ryazan region, approximately 200 km (124 miles) from Moscow. About 2,000 people have been displaced by fires in this region. Families who lost their homes have found shelter in schools, hospitals, and other public facilities, while many others are staying with relatives and friends.

“People have serious breathing problems, everybody is suffering from itching due to allergies caused by smoke. We are in acute need of antihistamines, respirators, and drinking water,” said Irina Anatolyevna, head doctor at the Kriushavillage hospital. “It’s not only those who have lost their homes, all the local residents are also affected.”

On August 6 and 11, an MSF team distributed basic food items, hygiene kits, and bed sheets for 500 people. Respirators, drinking water, and essential drugs, as well as medicines for chronically ill patients, were donated to two local healthcare facilities. The facilities include an outpatient clinic in Polyany and a hospital in Kriusha, a village with a population of 1,060 people. Kriusha in particular has been severely affected by the fires.

Safe drinking water for the residents and volunteer firefighters remains one of the most acute needs as the wells in the area were closed because of the sanitary situation.

MSF is monitoring the situation in the region and further exploratory visits and donations are planned.

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