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MSF teams are intensifying their response in some of the worst cyclone-affected areas of Myanmar’s (Burma) Irrawaddy Delta, by providing medical care, basic relief items and food, as well as improving access to clean water. A first cargo plane carrying 40 tons of relief supplies and medical materials is leaving Europe today for Yangon, Myanmar.

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Souheil Reaiche, MSF head of mission in Yangon, Myanmar, describes the situation in the country following the devastating Cyclone Nargis.

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Three days after Cyclone Nargis affected several areas of Myanmar, causing the deaths of a reported 10,000 people and severe material damage, large parts of the population remain without drinking water, food, and shelter.

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In Northern Bahr el Ghazal, families returning to southern Sudan after the end of a 21-year-civil war face innumerable hardships, including a lack of food and continued violence.

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Between January 2008 and April 2008, the independent medical humanitarian organization MSF has treated more than 850 victims of conflict in Mogadishu, a majority of whom are civilians, at Dayniile hospital, located nine kilometers outside the capital. Among the 850 people, 455 were admitted for gunshots wounds and 231 for blast wounds consistent with explosive devices.

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A UN health research and development (R&D) summit concluding in Geneva today has failed to take concrete action towards reforming a medical innovation system that largely disregards the health needs of millions of people in developing countries.

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For MSF teams the outbreak is over, but the root causes remain



DRC 2008 © Lionel Healing

Patients receive treatment for cholera in a cholera treatment center (CTC) in Lubumbashi.

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The south of Mali, a marshy region crossed from west to east by the river Niger, is a breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry malaria. The disease is omnipresent here, and children, the group most vulnerable to the parasite, are its main victims. Every child under five suffers from malaria at least once a year, and some catch it a second or even a third time over the course of a year. The medical needs associated with malaria are huge, but the health system does not respond proportionately.

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Since February 2008, the situation in Aweil, Bahr-el-Ghazal State, has worsened. The combination of: clashes between armed forces and tribal militias along the disputed border of northern and southern Sudan; ongoing political tensions; increased food insecurity due to flooding last year and the return of thousands of Sudanese former refugees; and a lack of functioning medical facilities has prompted MSF to launch an emergency response.

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Since political parties have reached a power-sharing deal and the security situation has improved in many parts of the country, MSF teams plan to phase out activities in some locations. However, as the rainy season is starting, and thousands are still living in displaced-persons’camps, MSF medical and logistical staff will continue to assist those affected by the violence while also providing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and kala azar treatment and care at long-running projects. 

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