Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is still providing surgical and medical health care to the displaced people in Vavuniya district, northern Sri Lanka. Some war-wounded need specific medical care, like orthopedic surgery, and around 95,000 people remain in Manik Farm camp. Additional medical capacities could be needed in the areas of return, as a result of the resettlement process.
The Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka has expressed its dissatisfaction with MSF’s recent update of August 13, 2009, in that it has not given an overall picture of the effort deployed by the Health Authorities during the emergency to ensure health-care provision for the displaced in the camps located in Vavuniya district.
While Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health has set up a system to provide initial treatment to the wounded and sick people in displaced persons camps, the needs remain immense, requiring an around-the-clock medical presence in the camps to respond to all emergencies.
MSF, Ministry of Health doctors and nurses, and Red Cross Society volunteers quietly move from patient to patient housed under six temporary structures. Most of the patients have several dressings that need to be changed regularly. In a small room in the hospital, MSF surgeons and anesthetists carry out surgical procedures such as skin grafts and wound closures.
MSF teams have been providing medical services day and night at different locations in Vavuniya district, including the hospital in Vavuniya city and at the checkpoint in Omanthai, close to the former frontline.