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MSF in Zambia, 2001
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Vast Refugee Camps are the Focus of Aid
Over the last year, people continued to flee fighting in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to seek refuge in Zambia, as of January 2001 home to an estimated 225,000 refugees. MSF work in the country is centered on refugee camps in three provinces. Work began in the Nangweshi camp in Western province, home to 14,000 Angolan refugees, in March 2000, and MSF established the Kala camp in Luapula province—home to 15,000 Congolese refugees—in August 2000. The Meheba camp in North-West province was established in 1971. Its population of 50,000 mostly Angolan refugees makes it one of the largest refugee settlements in Africa. In early 2000, MSF began providing emergency health care to new refugees at Meheba and also took charge of three clinics.
Activities at the three refugee sites range from basic medical care, family planning, immunization, and treatment of malnutrition, to the training of local health workers, water and sanitation activities, and laboratory work. MSF also provides medicines and medical material to health structures.
A new HIV/AIDS project was launched in April 2001 in the northern district of Nchelenge. The livelihood of residents depends on fishing Lake Mweru. During the fishing season, people from all over the district settle in temporary camps along the shores where little medical aid is available. In addition to local migrants, 12,000 refugees from neighboring DRC also settled near the lake. MSF focuses on medical care for AIDS patients, voluntary counseling and testing, and training community health workers and health center staff.
MSF has been working in Zambia since 1999.