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News for the Week of March 8, 1999
March 8, 1999
Additional Clinic Opened in Sierra Leone
MSF has rehabilitated another health clinic in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The clinic, based in a community center in the Freetown suburb of Kissy, was completely destroyed during fighting this past January. MSF is now supporting six health clinics in and around the capital. In addition, an MSF surgical team continues to treat large numbers of war-wounded in Connaught Hospital in Freetown. In Gbalamoya, along the Guinean border, MSF has set up a diarrhea treatment center and a feeding program for thousands of people fleeing fighting in Kambia, north of Freetown.
Epidemiological Mission in Afghanistan
MSF volunteers joined members of the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate the causes of a deadly epidemic in northern Afghanistan. The joint team has determined that the epidemic is due to influenza complicated by a secondary pneumonia infection. Antibiotics have been successful in treating the illness. Team members have attributed the severity of the illness to a high level of malnutrition in the region and the lack of adequate access to medical care. The nearest health facility is in Faizabad -- more than a seven-day journey away on foot.
Teams Forced to Evacuate Malanje, Angola
MSF international volunteers working in Malanje, in northwestern Angola, fled to safety last Wednesday after fierce fighting broke out in the city. Local staff continue to operate a therapeutic and supplementary feeding center in Malanje despite security concerns.
New Office Opened in India
MSF is opening a new office and assessing program needs in India. This is not the first time MSF has worked in India. In 1993 and again in 1996, MSF sent emergency medical teams to the country to aid in relief efforts following a devastating earthquake and hurricane. In November of 1997, the organization was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development in praise of MSF "for its outstanding work in alleviating human suffering by providing timely and much needed medical aid to peoples and communities in crisis."
"Bracelet of Life" Event in New York
On Friday, March 12, 1999, at 10 a.m., MSF veteran volunteer Yared Kebede Haile, M.D., will be joined by students from three New York City high schools for a presentation on the "Bracelet of Life." Dr. Haile will describe how MSF uses the "MUAC," which stands for middle upper-arm circumference, throughout the world to assess the nutritional status of a population in a food emergency. Students from New York's Beacon School, the Brooklyn School for Global Studies, and the Thurgood Marshall Academy will read testimonies from survivors of the current famine in southern Sudan. By wearing, and encouraging others to wear this "Bracelet of Life," MSF volunteers and friends are raising awareness about famine and hunger around the world. Throughout March and April, Barnes & Noble Bookstores in New York and Los Angeles will be displaying the bracelets at cash registers and information desks.