Central African Republic: MSF reinforces medical activities in Bangui following more than a month of renewed violence

The situation remains tense between the different communities in Bangui following the resurgence of violence at the end of September, with many people having sought refuge in camps for displaced people such as Ben Zvi, John XXII, Saint-Sauveur and Mpoko. More than 44,000 people are displaced in the Central African Republic (CAR) capital and live in poor, unsanitary conditions, with little or no access to healthcare.

Many displaced families have become host families for new people fleeing the violence. This is particularly true in the Mpoko camp near Bangui airport where MSF runs a health structure. MSF is currently reinforcing its activities in Mpoko in terms of water, hygiene and sanitation.

"Displaced people are facing new health problems as a result of having to live in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in the camps. Among these families, some of them were already living in these camps for several months and had already tried unsuccessfully to return home. It is essential now to provide adequate access to healthcare to these people" says Emmanuel Lampaert, MSF Head of Mission in Bangui.

Due to insecurity, many health centres in Bangui are no longer operational and many people seek care in MSF’s structure in the camp to receive healthcare. Before the resurgence of violence and the influx of new displaced people, the MSF team in Mpoko were providing between 250 and 300 consultations per day. Currently, more than 400 people seek care at the structure daily. The number of deliveries has risen from 25 to 42 per week because of the difficulty of accessing the other maternity structures and the increasing number of displaced people in the camp.

Wounded people that need referral are transferred by ambulance to Hôpital Général. In less than one week, MSF teams in the Hôpital Général received more than 80 people wounded by gunshots, grenades or with stab wounds.

Shortly after the outbreak of violence in September, MSF teams set up mobile clinics in five camps across town. Currently, these mobile clinics receive more than 1,000 patients per week, mainly for malaria and respiratory infections. The clinics offer free access to quality healthcare despite a volatile and unpredictable security context.

MSF has also organised a measles vaccination campaign for children aged between six months and 10 years at 12 priority sites, including all MSF sites and the central mosque of PK5 where MSF runs a mobile clinic once a week. Despite a volatile and insecure context, MSF is continuing to receive patients in Hôpital Général, provides maternal care in Castors maternity and supports the Mamadou Mbaiki health centre.