After over a decade of international aid and investment, Afghans still struggle to access critical medical care due to insecurity, distance, cost, or the dysfunction of many health facilities. There has been some progress, but maternal and infant mortality in Afghanistan remain among the highest in the world, casualties from violence are mounting, and unmet medical and humanitarian needs continue to soar.
Since early December 2013, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has provided medical care to more than 1,000 patients wounded by violence in and around Bangui airport, where approximately 100,000 displaced people have taken refuge from a wave of fighting that has spread across the country. Carrying out medical activities at the camp is a big challenge due to heavy fighting that regularly takes place close to where MSF is working.
Since fighting erupted in Bor, Jonglei State, people have been fleeing to the town of Awerial, in neighboring Lakes State, seeking safety. However, the area does not have the capacity to absorb all of the new arrivals. Living conditions are near catastrophic, and more medical and humanitarian assistance is urgently needed.
Around 70,000 refugees have been registered in Yida camp in South Sudan's Unity State, nine miles from the border with Sudan, since 2011. Most have arrived after fleeing the violent conflict in Sudan's Nuba Mountains.
During last year's rainy season, the mortality rate among young children in the camp rose well above the emergency threshold of two deaths per day per 10,000 people, mostly due to infectious diseases related to the camp's poor hygiene conditions, which were further exacerbated by the rains.