Federal Yugoslav Republic 1998
1 November 1998
Ethnic Albanians take flight International staff in Kosovo: 9 National staff in Kosovo 21 In 1998, a small radical movement known as the Kosovo Liberation Army took control of several villages in Drenica and Srbica. The KLA is seeking complete independence from the rest of Yugoslavia. The Serb army and a strengthened police force have been deployed in the rebel zone. Both sides are becoming increasingly violent. MSF involvement remains concentrated in Kosovo where 90% of the inhabitants in Kosovo (1.8 million) are ethnic Albanians. Support continues for the ethnic Albanian NGO, Mother Theresa, the most reliable access to primary health care available. MSF distributes and monitors drug supplies and medical material to 40 clinics as well as to 15 official health facilities. Training is also provided for doctors and nurses of the Mother Theresa association. Since the armed conflict worsened in the spring of 1998, MSF has put two mobile medical teams in place covering the Drenica and Metohija regions. During the month of June, MSF's two mobile teams have provided 3,500 consultations. Working with both Albanians and Serbs, the team is also trying to counteract the high incidence of infectious diseases such as polio and TB and low rate of vaccination coverage. A support programme for EPI in 13 districts is improving the technical capacity of vaccination teams by supplying training and equipment, and encouraging vaccination among the population. A water and sanitation programme carries out rehabilitation work in ten villages in order to improve hygiene standards and thus reduce the risks of infection. The mass arrival of up to 12,000 Kosovars in Montenegro has been contained because the vast majority have been invited to stay with host families. However, MSF has someone in place monitoring their health and laying the groundwork for any future influx.