April 4, 2013
CAR 2013 © Francois Beda/MSF
Jordan, 14, lives in the Miskine neighborhood of the eighth arrondissement in Bangui. His mother explains what happened to her son during the fighting.
“Jordan was with me at home when the rebels entered Bangui. They fired their rifles and Jordan was hit in the leg by a stray bullet. A pastor from our church took him to the hospital. We’ve been at the community hospital since Sunday. I saw that MSF was working in the hospital and helping the medical staff treat the wounded – there are lots of them. My son is doing better. I hope that he will recover quickly and that we’ll be able to go home very soon.”
Ten days after the opposition group Seleka took over the city of Bangui, life in the capital is gradually returning to normal. MSF continues its medical activities and is strengthening teams across the country. However, access to health care remains limited and medical facilities are understaffed. Outside Bangui, the population is beginning to recover from the recent upheaval and are returning to their daily lives.
Surgical Activities in Bangui
The Community Hospital is the only functional hospital in the city and parts of the capital are still without power and water. Despite the poor conditions, MSF has carried out approximately 40 surgeries on patients in critical condition. Over a 10-day period, 341 patients were admitted to hospital. In the early days of the fighting the majority of patients suffered from gunshot wounds, but MSF teams are now treating more victims of traffic accidents and patients suffering from cuts and other non–conflict related injuries.
"In the coming days we will focus our efforts on health centers in Bangui and on the outskirts of the city," says Sylvain Groux, MSF head of mission in CAR. Over the past week MSF has been donating equipment and medicine to hospitals and health centers across the capital as well.
CAR 2013 © Francois Beda/MSF
Noël, 40, lives in the Combattant neighborhood of the 8th arrondissement in Bangui.
“On Sunday, March 24, after my shift as a security guard downtown, I was on my way home when the Seleka rebels entered Bangui. They were firing all throughout the city. Because there was no public transportation, I had to walk home along the main road. I was suddenly shot in the chest. I felt a tremendous pain and fell down. I called for help before I lost consciousness. I didn’t know where the shot came from. At first, I thought I had been targeted but I heard a lot of firing all around me and realized that it must have been a stray bullet. I was lucky because two people helped me and took me to the International Red Cross. The ICRC transferred me here to the community hospital, where the MSF teams treated me. I hope that with treatment, I’ll recover and be able to resume my daily life as soon as possible."
MSF Services Beyond the Capital
Over Easter weekend, Seleka forces took control of Paoua, a town northwest of Bangui where MSF has a project. This takeover precipitated sporadic outbreaks of violence, but the situation in the town has now stabilized. MSF teams are resuming their activities northeast of Bangui on the outskirts of Kabo, Batangafo, and Ndélé, and continue to provide medical care at a project in Zemio in the southeast. In Boguila, despite an armed robbery and looting of a vehicle, MSF has maintained medical activities, albeit with a skeleton team. MSF will begin an exploratory mission to Bossangoa, south of Boguila, after receiving reports of violence, looting of hospitals, and serious disruption to health services.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)