MSF gets first look at Kisangani civilian population after the fighting

The MSF team in Kisangani has been able to leave the security of the 'saferoom' in Kisangani after fighting in the city stopped this morning.

MSF had called for a ceasefire between the warring Rwandan and Ugandan forces in order to provide essential humanitarian aid to the civilian population of Kisangani.

The first priority for the MSF team was to visit the health structure in the city and provide assistance where necessary.

The MSF teams in Kisangani have managed to visit 42 health structures within the city. At the present time, there is limited information available.

A total of 1,114 injured civilians have been reported in the visited health centres and 463 people remain hospitalised. Over the past six days of fighting, 45 people in these health structures have died. However there are additional bodies in the streets, killed during the recent conflict and unable to be removed because of the ongoing war.

The Thsopo quarter has been severely damaged and many of the houses destroyed. However there is limited information about the numbers of people affected, either displaced, injured or killed. As well, an unknown number of people have already been buried.

MSF has visited the larger health structures in the region (three hospitals) and have provided necessary supplies to the facilities for the treatment of the wounded civilian population.

Displaced

The MSF team has visited seven sites where approximately 7,000 displaced people have congregated. The facilities are located at the port, university and other locations where large numbers of people can gather. The situation is considered very precarious and there is a need for food supplies. In addition, there are water and sanitation requirements that need to be met. MSF has installed a water bladder at the university location to provide clean water to the displaced population there.

On the first day after the end of hostilities, the MSF teams were unable to visit all the areas with displaced populations. Consequently, it has not been possible to achieve an accurate figure for the total number of displaced. It is expected the figure shall climb in the coming days.

There have been some incidences of diarrhoea but no confirmed instances of cholera. Yet cholera remains a major concern for the MSF team and they shall be reopening a Cholera Treatment Centre in the city.

MSF continues to remain active throughout Kisangani assisting in providing essential medical care to the affected population. More information shall be provided as it becomes available.