In September, the conflict along the disputed border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan escalated again. There were hundreds of casualties and tens of thousands of people fled from the villages close to the border. MSF teams in Batken immediately responded by providing essential medical care and psychosocial counseling to displaced people. We also supported hospitals by donating medical supplies, surgical instruments, and conducting trainings on managing mass-casualty incidents.
In 2022, MSF completed a set of environmental health studies on former mining communities in Kadamjay district, in Batken, which revealed chronic exposure to heavy metals, such as arsenic and antimony. To mitigate exposure, our teams launched health promotion activities and remediated contaminated soil in a sports stadium and two school yards. In addition, we advocated for the implementation of public health measures to prevent and treat the effects of heavy metal pollution.