To date, 150 MSF volunteers and 300 tonnes have been sent to Asian tsunami zone
7 January 2005
Indonesia Since an MSF emergency team arrived in hard-hit Aceh, Indonesia, on December 28 with six tons of aid supplies, more than 60 MSF international aid workers and more than 120 tons of relief, food, and medical materials have been airlifted to the area. Currently, MSF is working in five locations-the provincial capital Banda Aceh, Meulaboh, Medan, Lamno, and Lampe-Ngo-to assist roughly 100,000 people. From a base in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, MSF is operating mobile medical teams by helicopter to the east and west. The helicopter has a 2,500-pound carrying capacity, and is filled with three staff members and medical supplies. The remaining capacity is filled with rice, tarpaulins, water, and other aid supplies. Another smaller helicopter is operating out of Meulaboh on the west coast. When the MSF team reaches an area they do a rapid assessment of the needs and conduct medical consultations for people in the immediate area, and then leave food and shelter materials before taking off for the next site. The team transports any seriously wounded people back to Fakine hospital in Banda Aceh, where they receive treatment for broken limbs and infected wounds. The next day the team returns to the area with specific supplies, based on their initial assessment, to best meet the most urgent needs of people. The mobile teams have been running several aid operations in the villages of Lamno and Lampe-Ngo on the western coast of Aceh. On January 4, MSF delivered more than 600 pounds of rice, 100 tarpaulins, and dropped off a water-and-sanitation specialist. In both villages, MSF teams stayed overnight. On the return journey, the helicopter airlifted seven patients in need of hospitalization to Banda Aceh. They are now in Fakine hospital receiving treatment for broken legs and infected wounds. An estimated 11,000 people are living in six displaced-persons camps in Lamno. In Lampe-Ngo there an estimated 3,000 displaced people who have been forced to dry and eat rice that had been submerged by salt water during the tsunami. Local people told the MSF team that around 80 percent of the village’s population remains unaccounted for.