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MSF in Chad, 2007
Field Staff: 1,437
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In recent years, eastern Chad has experienced a humanitarian crisis affecting the entire population, including residents, refugees and internally displaced people. Over 240,000 refugees from Darfur depend entirely on international aid, and the number of internally displaced people sharply increased in 2007, affecting in turn the host population of the sites where they gathered.
Violence increasingly affecting the Chadian population
In eastern Chad, increasing violence has led to massive population displacement, with over 180,000 internally displaced Chadians living in camps by the end of the year. These people live in critical conditions resulting in emergency sanitary and health crises, with high malnutrition rates and outbreaks of bloody diarrhoea in the first half of the year. Despite difficult security conditions, MSF managed to scale up its assistance to internally displaced people, providing primary and secondary healthcare, drinking water, food and relief items around Goz Beïda, Adé, Kerfi, Koukou, Arkoum, Am Timam, Am Dam and Dogdoré. In December, MSF had to suspend programme activities in Koukou after several serious security incidents.
MSF continued to provide complete healthcare to the resident population in Adré, Guereda, Birak, Djiré and Wilikouré, ranging from surgery to prenatal care and vaccination campaigns.
Over 180,000 internally displaced Chadians are living in camps.
After a period of calm and a ceasefire agreement between the government and four rebel groups in October, fighting broke out again in late November, with an intensification of the clashes in the last weeks of the year. Anticipating an influx of wounded, MSF improved the surgical infrastructure in the hospital of Abéché and prepared stocks of emergency supplies.
Since 2003, more than 240,000 refugees from Darfur have been living in camps in eastern Chad, entirely dependent on international aid. MSF continued to provide medical care, including pediatric and maternal care as well as psychosocial support, to some 90,000 people living in Iridimi, Touloum, Farchana and Bredjing refugee camps and to the surrounding Chadian population. The teams also treated the consequences of sexual violence and malnutrition, provided health education and treated communicable diseases. In Adré and Iriba hospitals, MSF surgical teams provided emergency surgery to refugees, residents and displaced Chadians.
Since June 2005, increased violence in neighboring Central African Republic has prompted tens of thousands of villagers to flee, with some 50,000 seeking refuge in southern Chad. MSF provided assistance including water, sanitation and healthcare in the camps around Goré until April 2007. MSF continues to work in Goré district hospital, supporting all wards to provide secondary medical care and surgery to refugees and local residents.
Decentralized care for malaria
Since 2003, MSF has been developing a program to treat malaria in the southern district of Bongor, one of the most affected by the disease. To overcome the lack of health workers, the high resistance to the treatment and the difficult access to the area over long periods, MSF introduced a therapeutic strategy using Artemisinin-based combination therapy and introduced decentralized care by empowering the local population to care for those affected. In 2007, 110,000 people were treated through this program.
MSF has worked in Chad since 1981.