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Central African Republic
MSF in Central African Republic, 2008
Field Staff: 1,188
Reason for Intervention:
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Since late 2005, fighting between the government and various rebel groups has caused large-scale displacement of people in the Central African Republic (CAR). Many villages have been looted or burned, forcing their inhabitants to flee. Most people have sought refuge in the bush, or with host families in towns, often far from their destroyed homes.
Despite another increase in international aid in 2008, much of the population continues to live exposed to the elements, in constant fear of new attack and with no access to health care or clean water. People struggle to find food and are particularly vulnerable to malaria, respiratory infections, and diarrheal diseases.
Treating conflict patients
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) focused on providing medical assistance to populations affected by the conflict through a network of mobile clinics, hospitals, and health centers across the northwest in Kabo, Batangafo, Markounda, Paoua, Bocaranaga, Boguila, and in the northeastern areas of Birao and Gordil. More than 385,000 outpatient consultations were conducted and more than 14,800 patients were hospitalized. Patients are being treated for diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS, sleeping sickness, and malnutrition.
Helping mothers and children
CAR also has a very high mother and child mortality rate. In response, MSF projects provided 30,000 antenatal consultations and assisted in more than 5,000 deliveries during 2008. Mental health services were also provided to communities living with the threat of displacement and violence. MSF also supported health centers in remote areas by training staff, donating medical supplies, and setting up referral systems for patients who needed to be hospitalized. However, support to peripheral health centers has been restricted by the tense security situation, which often limits the teams’ ability to move.
MSF has worked in the Central African Republic since 1997.