Central African Republic: The situation stabilises but remains tense
Ten days after the takeover of Bangui by the opposition group Seleka, life in the capital is gradually returning to normal. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continues its medical activities and strengthens its teams across the country.
Despite a gradual return to order in the capital, access to health care is limited and medical facilities are understaffed. Outside Bangui, the population is beginning to recover from the recent upheaval and are returning to their daily lives.
Surgical activities in Bangui
Despite the stabilization of the situation in the capital, access to health care remains a challenge for the population. The Community Hospital is the only functional hospital in the city and parts of the capital are still without power and water. Despite the poor conditions, MSF has carried out approximately forty surgeries on patients in critical condition. Over a 10 days period, 341 patients were admitted to hospital. In the early days of the fighting the majority of patients were suffering from gunshot wounds, but MSF teams are now treating more traffic accident victims and patients suffering from wounds, cuts and other injuries.
"In the coming days we will focus our efforts on health centres in Bangui and in the outskirts of the city," says Sylvain Groux, MSF head of mission. Over the past week MSF has been donating equipment and medicine to hospitals and health centres across the capital.
MSF services beyond the capital
Over the Easter weekend, Seleka forces took control of the town of Paoua, northwest of Bangui where MSF has a project. There were sporadic outbreaks of violence, but the situation in the town has now stabilized. MSF teams are resuming their activities in the outskirts of Kabo, Batangafo and Ndélé, northeast of Bangui and continue to provide medical care at a project in Zemio in the southeast. In Boguila, despite an armed robbery and looting of a vehicle, MSF has maintained medical activities albeit with a skeleton team. MSF will begin an exploratory mission to Bossangoa, south of Boguila after receiving reports of violence, looting of hospitals and serious disruption to health services.