Congo-Brazzaville: Fighting results in food shortages

International staff : 3

MSF's main focus today is nutritional assistance. MSF opened a feeding centre in Brazzaville in early May which caters for young and old. There is an average of 80 new arrivals each week.

MSF returned to Brazzaville's Makélékélé Hospital in 1999 where it had worked during and in the immediate aftermath of the civil war in 1997.
It was almost unrecognisable, overgrown with weeds and abandoned
grenades. In May, MSF finally returned to the hospital to carry out an assistance programme providing backup to the emergency room, the paediatrics wing and the outpatients department.

Given the difficult living conditions for many of the displaced, it came as no surprise that there were cases of cholera diagnosed in Brazzaville city . From 1 February to 28 April, the University Hospital registered more than 100 cases, of which 15 were untreatable with antibiotics. 42% came from the displaced sites, and 58% from other parts of the city. Fortunately, the outbreak never reached epidemic proportions. Following a government request, MSF set up a cholera treatment centre in the hospital. MSF has been involved in the rehabilitation of this hospital and has provided training to nurses and has supplied medicine and medical and logistical material to the hospital.

On 8 March 1999, there were almost 27,000 displaced on 18 sites in the northern quarters of Brazzaville and as many again living with host families; The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Federation of the Red Cross have taken charge of all the sites. MSF has provided water and sanitation assistance for the 7,000 displaced living in the Kimbanguiste and Salvation Army camps.