October 12, 1998 News for the Week of October 12, 1998
Medical Workers Being Targeted in Kosovo
At a press conference in Brussels last Friday, MSF voiced concern for the thousands of people in Kosovo facing a cold winter with few supplies and too little access to medical care. Members of the MSF teams in Kosovo also described how medical personnel are being targeted and medical supplies are deliberately being burned or destroyed.
"When we visited the building where we had been seeing patients in the village of Gllogovc, we found that all the medical supplies had been burnt. All that was left was a pile of ashes and some metal tweezers," said Keith Ursel, emergency coordinator, after visiting Gllogovc September 28.
Civilians requiring medical treatment are not the only ones at risk. An alarming number of attacks on local medical personnel treating the displaced population have also been recorded. On September 25, a doctor who worked closely with MSF, Dr Lec, was arrested, tortured, and killed. "We are worried about the high number of medical personnel who are reported arrested, who have disappeared, or who have been forced to flee," said Mr. Ursel. "These people are suffering so much. Not only are there no medicines to help them, but now even those who care for them are being targeted," he said.
Flood Relief Project in Bangladesh Effective
During the past two weeks, MSF teams in Dhaka, Bangladesh, have joined forces with two local organizations to supply five health posts and carry out a measles vaccination program for people affected by flooding. In addition, teams continue to provide aid to a medical post and a diarrhea treatment center serving the flood-stricken population of the Sirajganj district. "The aim of the program has been to prevent the further spread of infectious diseases such as dysentery, and we have succeeded," says project coordinator Wayne Ulrich. To this end, MSF has set up a network of national and international aid organizations to gather reliable data concerning the health situation of the population of Dhaka.
MSF Participates in World Food Day 5K
Come out and support MSF on Saturday, October 17, 1998, at 9:45 a.m., for a 5K race to fight world hunger. Sponsored by the Congressional Hunger Center, the run will call attention to worldwide conditions of hunger and malnutrition, while also supporting local food banks and international relief agencies. It will be a great day for runners, walkers, adults, and children. Over eighty prizes, ranging from airline tickets to private lunches with Members of Congress, will be divided among top finishers and random participants.