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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs