Burundi: MSF Treats 60 People Wounded in Grenade Explosions


BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI—The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treated 60 injured people at its trauma center on Monday after grenades exploded in several Bujumbura neighborhoods. 

The MSF team launched a mass casualty plan on Monday morning to treat the rapid influx of wounded, triaging to treat the most serious cases first.

"We opened a second operating room and performed five emergency surgeries in the hours that followed," said Richard Veerman, MSF program manager.

MSF’s trauma center includes 43 beds, an emergency room, two operating rooms, and an intensive care unit. Its services are free and available to anyone who meets the admission criteria, which include all those who have experienced a violent trauma.

"We are committed to bringing quality medical care to people, regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation," Veerman said.

Since the MSF center opened in July, 630 wounded patients have obtained treatment, more than 390 of whom required hospitalization.

MSF is one of the few international organizations treating the wounded and other medical emergency patients in the capital. Its activities in Burundi are financed solely by individual contributions. MSF does not accept funds from any government for its work in Burundi.

MSF has been working in Burundi since 1993. MSF intensified its activities in Bujumbura when pre-electoral tensions began to mount in May. It supported three health posts located near the sites where demonstrations occurred and thus facilitated access to free care for nearly 120 patients hospitalized in public facilities. MSF also trained the medical staff at the Prince Rwagasore Hospital in Bujumbura to treat trauma victims and donated medicine and medical supplies.