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MSF Operations in Asian Earthquake Areas
October 12, 2005
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams are operating in both the Pakistani- and Indian-administered areas of Kashmir to assist victims of last Saturday's earthquake. Almost 80 international aid workers will be working alongside dozens of national staff to provide medical assistance, mental health counseling, and relief and medical supplies to some of the hardest-hit areas.
MSF is airlifting more than 110 metric tons of medical (surgical kits, wound dressings) and relief (winterized tents, blankets, generators, water tanks, plastic sheeting) supplies to the Pakistani capital Islamabad, to support the aid operations.
Almost 70 MSF physicians, nurses, mental health specialists, logisticians, and water-sanitation specialists are being dispatched to Pakistan. An MSF team with enough supplies to treat 10,000 people is offering medical assistance in the local district hospital in the town of Muzafarrabad, northeast of Islamabad. According to the team, the earthquake destroyed all the health structures in the town. A mobile medical team is providing consultations to displaced people. The team is also establishing clinics to treat 2,000 to 3,000 people.
Another medical team is working in Lamnian, a town in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, to treat the sick and wounded. The town is believed to have a population of 25,000 people.
An MSF assessment team in Bagh, south of Muzafarrabad, has reported that nearly all of the town's buildings have been destroyed. Enough medical supplies to treat 10,000 displaced people for three months, tents, and other relief supplies are being sent to the area.
In Abottabad in Pakistan's North Western Frontier Province, an assessment team reached the 600-bed district hospital, which was partially collapsed. Patients were still being care for on the ground floor, but the local medical staff was completely overwhelmed with patients. In Mansehra, also in the province, another medical team found a similar situation. The district hospital was extremely damaged and patients had been moved to tents outside.
MSF has 10 international aid workers and 53 national staff distributing medical and relief supplies, and providing basic health care and mental health counseling to people in Indian-administered Kashmir.
In Baramullah district, MSF has distributed 75 tents to displaced people. An MSF team has reached Tangdar, the most remote part of Indian-administered Kashmir, and is now treating basic injuries in Bhalikut village. MSF is preparing enough relief supplies to provide assistance to 20,000 people in Tangdar for a period of four weeks.
A medical team is assisting nearly 400 families in Cherundu in Uri district. Mental health counselors are offering support to victims receiving treatment in four hospitals in Srinigar, and also providing food and clothing to unaccompanied children, and then referring them from the hospitals to orphanages. MSF is also providing medical and logistical supplies to these hospitals.
In total, MSF has distributed 10,000 blankets, 5,000 meters of plastic sheeting for shelters, 80 tents, 10,000 sets of clothes, 7,000 bottles of water, 2 tons of food, and 1 ton of medical supplies to affected people and medical structures in India.