MSF Dispatches Medical Team and 40 Tons of Relief Supplies to Gujarat, India

New York/Amsterdam, 29 January 2001 — The international medical relief organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), is dispatching a specialized ten-person medical team and 40 tons of relief supplies to the Indian state of Gujarat. The team and supplies will be flown directly to Ahmedebad, leaving tonight from the Belgian airfield Ostend. The medical team will then continue to the Kutch region of Gujarat, which was heavily hit by last Friday's earthquake.

The MSF team will be primarily providing first aid and surgical care. As well, the team will focus on disease prevention. Mobile medical units will provide care in more remote areas. Specialists will concentrate on potential kidney-problems among those injured. Renal failure may occur in earthquake victims as a result of crush injury, when limbs are severely compressed under collapsed buildings and rubble.

Tonight's 40-ton shipment of relief goods includes: 150 family tents, hospital tents, plastic sheeting, and blankets to provide initial shelter to the people who are homeless, and medical kits containing drugs, bandages, and surgical equipment. MSF pioneered and engineered such medical kits to further its ability to respond quickly and efficiently when an emergency strikes.

On Saturday January 27, MSF sent an exploratory team to the affected area in Gujarat from its operations in Delhi. At present, the exploratory team is continuing a needs assessment and is preparing the arrival of the medical team.