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Tens of Thousands of Displaced in Need in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
October 31, 2008
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is continuing to work in Goma and in other towns and villages in the province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The organization is extremely concerned about the tens of thousands of people currently on the move, fleeing fighting. The displaced people are in urgent need of clean water, basic items like blankets and shelter materials, and food.
MSF is sending emergency staff from Europe and Kinshasa to reinforce its teams.
MSF Emergency Coordinator Marie-Noëlle Rodrigue describes the situation in North Kivu:
October 31, 2008
Yesterday, staff evaluated the hospital in Goma, donated medical supplies, and assisted in treating the wounded. Later in the day, fighting near the hospital caused wounded patients to flee. Some have since returned. Today, teams are visiting schools and churches in the city to evaluate the needs there.
Yesterday, an MSF team discovered that large numbers of displaced people had come south from Kibati and were now in the northern part of Goma. Some of these people are attempting to return home. A mobile clinic went to this area today to provide healthcare and to assess people's needs.
MSF is treating patients at its cholera treatment centre in Mugunga camp. The organization is continuing to assess the situation in this large camp for displaced people outside Goma, on the road to Saké. MSF is very concerned about the lack of clean water in the camp, and the risks this poses for the spreading of disease.
The MSF medical team in Rutshuru is continuing to work around the clock treating wounded people at the hospital. As of yesterday, the team had treated 83 people for gunshot wounds and 20 for trauma-related wounds. In Kayna, MSF has assisted in treating 96 war-wounded patients who have arrived since Sunday. Three mobile clinics went to Kanyabayonga, where they are providing care and monitoring population movements in the area.
Teams are also continuing their work at the hospitals in Masisi, Kitchanga, and Mweso and are operating mobile clinics in the area.
MSF has also been assessing the movement of people over the border into Uganda. In Kisoro, Uganda, teams found about 4,000 displaced people, and others in Kitagoma and Ishasha.
MSF is one of the few remaining humanitarian organizations still working in the area, and is planning to increase its response to the crisis to meet the needs of the population.