MSF builds capacity for trauma counselling in tsunami struck Aceh region of Indonesia
10 January 2005
The medical team in Aceh Besar conducted 105 consultations at an elementary school that has turned into a displaced camp. Here, 369 people are staying in the class rooms and in a tent. Six people had to be transferred to a hospital for treatment of their wounds, sustained 13 days before and not treated since. The psychologist, who is part of the MSF team, had five individual counselling sessions. People were referred to her because of epileptic fits, psychosomatic stress, psychosis and for support for deep grief. With four psychologists on the team, MSF will gradually expand this part of its work. Most of the psychologists have come over from Ambon, where MSF has been offering similar support to people traumatised by the civil strife. The MSF helicopter did two round trips on Saturday. It delivered a seven-strong team with supplies in Meulaboh and dropped staff and materials also in Legan, both on the west coast. In Meulaboh, MSF treated 30 patients in the hospital. In the afternoon a heavy downpour in and around Banda Aceh made it impossible to complete a planned third trip. A truck arrived from Medan and brought water and sanitation materials to the warehouse of MSF, close to the airport in Banda Aceh. The trip between the two cities takes about 12 hours by road. Two planes arrived from Jakarta, carrying fuel and other supplies. A third one set off with tents and beds for hospitals. The Rainbow Warrior started offloading materials in Meulaboh.