- About Us
- Our Work
- Work With MSF
- Public Events
- Press Room
Central African Republic
MSF in Central African Republic, 2006
All articles on Central African Republic »
"There were 400 people attending a clinic in one village. Suddenly one of them thought they heard a vehicle approaching from a distance. All 400 rose and fled into the bush within seconds, leaving the MSF workers standing alone and stunned."
Simon Collins, MSF doctor
The civilian population in the north of the Central African Republic (CAR) is bearing the brunt of an ongoing conflict between rebel and government forces. Violence between armed groups has led to the torching of entire villages and attacks on civilians, causing many people to flee to the bush, where they attempt to survive the most primitive living conditions. The fighting has caused a total collapse of the healthcare system.
MSF runs ten mobile clinics near Markounda, along the border with Chad, assisting thousands of people, many of whom suffer from malaria, worm infestation or acute respiratory infections — conditions often caused by living in the open. By May 2006, teams were conducting over 8000 medical consultations monthly. MSF vaccinates adults and children against measles and other common infectious diseases as a preventive measure. Plastic sheeting, blankets and soap are also distributed.
To care for patients requiring more intensive treatment, MSF set up a 16-bed hospital in Markounda. Each week up to 15 people are admitted to the facility and several hundred patients receive care through the hospital’s outpatient department. In May 2006, MSF also began working in the 40- bed regional referral hospital in the city of Boguila Kota, southwest of Markounda.
In March 2006, MSF started providing medical care in the northwestern town of Paoua. In April, the team began conducting mobile medical consultations along roads near deserted villages. On average, 400 consultations are carried out each week, with approximately 60 per cent of patients under the age of five. Malaria is the main illness seen here, affecting more than onethird of patients. Others suffer from maladies including respiratory infections, bloody diarrhoea or snakebites. Patients needing more care are referred to Paoua Hospital, where another MSF team works after having rehabilitated the facility. Approximately 500 people receive medical consultations and 50 patients are hospitalised weekly.
Handing over sleeping sickness activities
From 2001 to mid-2006, MSF ran a Human African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) program in the Zemio, Mboki and Obo areas of the southeastern province Haut- Mbomou. The project was handed over to the Ministry of Health and national sleeping sickness program in April 2006, once disease levels had dropped significantly. During its project, MSF screened more than 76,000 people and treated 1509 individuals.
MSF continues to screen and treat people with malaria in the area. The team trains laboratory staff and supervises five health centers in the Haut-Mbomou. A mobile health clinic operates close to Mboki town, performing approximately 1400 outpatient consultations monthly, many for people with malaria. Another 200 people are hospitalised each month for more intensive treatment.
In November 2005, MSF also responded to a measles outbreak in Mboki and vaccinated a total of 4500 children.
MSF has worked in Central African Republic since 1997.