News / Africa

Doctors Without Borders Seeks Help Treating CAR Wounded

People escort a wounded civilian at the community hospital in Bangui, Feb. 19, 2014.
People escort a wounded civilian at the community hospital in Bangui, Feb. 19, 2014.
Nick Long
The medical charity Doctors Without Borders is appealing for help in treating the thousands of people wounded and injured in the violence currently gripping the Central African Republic (CAR).  The charity, known by its French acronym MSF, said there are not enough health care workers on the ground to deal with the overwhelming number of patients.
 
The casualty ward at the main hospital in Bouar has probably never seen such an influx of injured patients as in the past few weeks.  Currently there are about 60.  Many of them are lying on the floor.  Many are children.

Until a team from MSF got here, earlier this month, the hospital had only one qualified nurse and two doctors and only one of these doctors, Wilfrid Komoyo, seems to be treating patients.

Abdou, a two-year-old boy with a bandage around his head, is recovering from his injuries.

Komoyo said Abdou was injured when a truck that he and about 40 other people were traveling in went off the road.  He said some of the passengers were also hit by bullets.

Another medical worker told VOA the truck was carrying Muslims who were trying to get out of the country.  He said the accident happened after the truck had come under fire from the anti-balaka militia.  Five people were killed and dozens injured.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled the CAR in the past three months as sectarian violence has escalated.

Last month a grenade was thrown at another truck near Bouar, and more than 20 people, nearly all Muslims, died.

On Sunday, the anti-balaka attacked a convoy of 89 vehicles evacuating Muslims from the west of the country, and 12 civilians were wounded, although African Union troops protecting the convoy managed to beat off the attackers.

Non-Muslims are also being brought to the casualty ward at Bouar’s main hospital.  One of them, who has bullet wounds, identified his attacker to VOA.

He said a soldier stole his father’s motorbike, and he went to recover it and the soldier shot at him.

Many soldiers of the Central African armed forces have been fighting alongside the anti-balaka.

Three doctors from MSF are now working with Dr. Komoyo. They have taken charge of treating all the wounded and injured at the hospital.

MSF said that since December 5 it has treated 3,600 people in the CAR for bullet, machete, grenade and knife wounds and other injuries. The charity currently has 240 of its own international staff working in CAR and 2,000 local assistants.

The head of MSF’s mission in the CAR is Marie-Elizabeth Ingres. She said there are people in need throughout the country, there is major violence, there are many wounded to treat and MSF finds itself almost alone, and overwhelmed by this very serious situation.
 
Ingres added that MSF is appealing to the other aid agencies to help out.  MSF can react to emergencies, she said, but it cannot be everywhere, in every health center, to provide the medium- and long-term support that the CAR health system needs.  

Dr. Komoyo told VOA that the World Health Organization (WHO) is paying salaries for some of the staff at the hospital while MSF is paying the other staff, and both UNICEF and the charity Save the Children are providing some free medicines.

But MSF seems to be the only international organization that has people on the ground in Bouar actually providing treatment and monitoring health care delivery.

One aid worker told VOA that since the MSF team arrived at the Bouar hospital its workers have frequently had to remind local staff not to charge patients for treatments and medicines that are supposed to be free.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid