News for the Week of November 30, 1998
November 30, 1998
Hurricane Mitch Relief
Honduras: MSF continues to deliver medical and relief supplies to the most affected regions of Honduras, including Atlantida, Colon, Cortes, Choluteca, Morazan, Yoro, and Santa Barbara. Bad weather is worsening the state of the already damaged roads in Honduras. MSF's overall objective in Honduras is to improve access to drinkable water and to medical care. In Tegucigapla, the capital city, MSF teams have set up a dispensary tent in El Chile Health Center to distribute medical and shelter supplies. Along the Choluteca river in the southern part of the country, teams have donated drugs to six health centers in the municipalities of Choluteca, Oroquina, and Apasilagua. Along the Aguan river in the northern part of the country, we have donated drugs, water tanks, and fuel to the hospitals and clinics in the municipalities of Yoro, Yorito, Sulaco, and Victoria. Drug and food distributions have also been carried out in the Olanchito and Iriona regions. MSF is also assisting in extensive repairs to the water and sanitation systems in these areas.
Nicaragua: MSF continues to reach remote regions of the country by helicopter and four-wheel drive vehicle. 15 MSF mobile teams distributed medical, sanitation, and nutritional supplies to people in Esteli, Nueva Segovia, Chinandega, Jinotega, and Managua. In addition, MSF teams are carefully monitoring and treating suspected cases of cholera, dengue fever, malaria, leptospiroses, and other infectious diseases.
Guatemala: MSF's objective in Guatemala is to improve the access to basic health care and fresh water, and to control previously existing and new cholera outbreaks. MSF teams are providing health consultations, drugs, blankets, and drinking water to around 5,400 people who are still living in 30 open shelters in Guatemala City. In Izabal and Rio Dulce, MSF is distributing water, drugs, and carrying out medical consultations to approximately 35,000 people in 20 communities.In Escuintla Department, we have completed an epidemiological evalution and provided medical and pharmaceutical supplies to local health centers as well as a cholera treatment center in Puetro San Jose.
El Salvador: MSF team members are working in the hardest-hit eastern part of El Salvador, including the districts of San Miguel, La Union, San Vicente, La Paz, and Usulatan. Drugs, drinking water, and medical and shelter supplies are being distributed.
Snowfall Worsens Conditions in Kosovo
The first serious snowfall in the Yugoslavian province of Kosovo has caused more difficulties for those whose homes were destroyed during the fighting this past summer. Roads are difficult to travel over, but MSF is working with other non-governmental organizations to distribute food, shelter materials, stoves, and hygenic items. MSF carried out an assessment of health structures in the Pec/Decan region where some of the heaviest fighting took place, and found that 8 out of 28 health clinics and hospitals were damaged, 3 seriously. MSF mobile clinics continue to treat displaced people as they return to their villages. From November 16 to November 20, teams saw a total of 1140 patients in the villages of Klodernica, Dervare, Dubovc, Zhilivoda, Isniq, Mazniq, Gramacel, and Hoxhaj. The teams are finding that returnees are beginning to rebuild their homes, but many still lack confidence about the future.
Homelessness in the Aftermath of China Floods
As winter sets in, tens of thousands of victims of this summer's floods in central China are still living in temporary shelters without enough food, clothing, or medical care. In recent weeks, the incidence of respiratory diseases has begun to rise. As the temperature drops, pneumonia and other illnesses will almost certainly follow if the homeless do not receive further assistance. MSF, which has been distributing medicines, water purification supplies, blankets and other materials since July, is now pushing forward with another phase of emergency medical assistance. During the next month, MSF teams in Hunan and Hubei provinces will provide basic medical supplies to clinics damaged or destroyed by the floods, as well as cotton padded quilts to those still living in tents and other temporary shelters.