Immediately after a massive explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4, some Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) staff who were already working in the city went to health facilities to see how they could assist medics responding to the emergency. MSF is organizing a donation of wound kits to one of the facilities treating people injured by the blast. We are also evaluating whether patients who need further surgery can be referred to and treated in one of our hospitals after they have been stabilized. We are assessing the most pressing needs in hospitals and identifying additional ways we can assist people under such tragic circumstances.
Emmanuel Massart, coordinator of MSF operations in Lebanon, provided a brief update about the situation on August 5, the day after the explosion:
What we can say today is that the situation in Beirut is still completely catastrophic—with people that are still missing. Search and rescue operations are still ongoing, looking for people that are still trapped in the rubble of their homes.
Hospitals in Beirut are still completely overwhelmed, not being able to cope with the thousands of wounded that have come to the hospitals in the last 12 hours.
As MSF, what we have done so far is that we have started to donate trauma kits to different hospitals receiving the wounded yesterday night. We are setting up emergency and rapid response teams, as well as mobile clinics. We are also increasing our surgical capacities in one of the hospitals that we are running in order to decrease the burden that the hospitals of Beirut have on their shoulders today.