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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor 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.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More