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News for the Week of October 19, 1998
October 19, 1998
Medical Relief Effort in Kosovo Resumes
MSF returned to Kosovo last week after being briefly evacuated to Macedonia. The health of many of the displaced persons has deteriorated during the past week. Severe shortages of food and warm clothing have been reported in a number of regions. Heavy storms have battered Kosovo over the past few days, making living conditions for the refugees even more miserable. An MSF team is now assessing the situation in the town of Pec and in the Nekovc valley near Drenica.
Second Kala Azar Center Opened in Northern Sudan
MSF this week opened a second center for the treatment of kala azar in the northern Sudanese village of Kassab, not far from the existing center in Gedaref. Spread by the bite of the sandfly, kala azar causes chronic fever, serious anemia, diarrhea, and weight loss. Left untreated, 90 percent of all infected people die within six months. MSF has developed a pioneering treatment for kala azar which has an extremely positive success rate. The treatment center in Kassab is based in a former hospital that MSF has rehabilitated. With this second location, MSF is better prepared for the kala azar peak season in November and December. The new center is more accessible for people living along the Adbarah river, and will help ease the heavy caseload at the Gedaref center. The recent flooding has caused a huge mosquito outbreak and MSF plans a large-scale distribution of mosquito nets to the 100,000 people living in the Gedaref region.