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MSF in Sri Lanka, 2004
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The 2002 ceasefire between LTTE rebels (Tamil Tigers) in the north of the country and the government held firm in 2003. As a result of the truce, the humanitarian situation in the north has improved. For the first time in years, hospitals are adequately supplied with medicines, and most people who had fled their villages have been able to return home. As a result of the improved conditions, MSF spent much of 2003 preparing for its departure and ended its work in the country in March 2004.
During 2003, MSF continued to support regional hospitals in the northern Wanni region. In Mallavi, the organization assisted the surgical and maternity departments, completed the training of supplementary staff and constructed a modern system for processing medical waste. A similar system was installed in the hospital in Puthukkudiyiruppu. In December 2003, an MSF doctor worked in the latter hospital to help the nursing department and to prepare the maternity department for the organization's departure. From August until November, MSF supplied a doctor to the outpatient department of the hospital in Mullaitivu. In September and October, the organization provided training courses for laboratory technicians at the hospitals at Mullaitivu and Puthukkudiyiruppu. In the town of Vavuniya, just outside of the Wanni region, MSF continued a project providing psychosocial care and health information for traumatized people who had been displaced from their homes in the north.
In March 2004, MSF handed over its activities to a new Sri Lankan NGO. This organization is comprised of Sri Lankans who had worked for MSF and who will continue the psychosocial program in the town and district of Vavuniya. The activities in Mullaitivu district have been handed over to medical staff working for the national ministry of health.
MSF started working in Sri Lanka in 1986.