August 24, 1998
Displaced Children in Southern Sudan at High Risk; New Feeding Centers Planned
In its ongoing effort to fight the famine in south Sudan, MSF carried out a new nutritional and mortality survey indicating that displaced children in the famine-stricken area of Panthou in Bahr el Ghazal, southern Sudan, are at extreme risk of death. According to the assessment, displaced children in Panthou are almost 17 times more likely to die of starvation or starvation-related illnesses than resident children from the area, despite the fact that the levels of malnutrition within the two groups are similar. "This survey shows just how much more vulnerable displaced people are. They have limited access to shelter, and no or few family members around, and they are often exhausted after walking for days before reaching our centers," says Stephanie Maxwell, medical coordinator of MSF's relief programs in Panthou. In order to prevent further displacement to Panthou, MSF is now planning to open feeding centers both in Ajac and Tieraliet—the two locations from which most of the displaced in Panthou have come.
New MSF Program in Bangladesh
An MSF exploratory mission last week visited the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, an area which until recently was closed to all aid organizations. As the result of a peace agreement, some 60,000 tribal people have returned there since last December after spending 30 years in exile in India. The displaced populations have yet to receive land allocations and monthly food rations promised in the peace accord. MSF has visited all the area healthcare institutions and evaluated current healthcare needs. The clinics appear to be suffering from a shortage of medical personnel and drugs. Malaria in its most serious form poses the greatest health risk to the tribal population. MSF is launching a program at a regional health clinic that is visited by both tribal and Bengali patients.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)