MSF prioritises essential needs

East Timor There were seven MSF ex-pat staff stationed in East Dili at the time of this report but the MSF movements are frequent and more staff is arriving, so the number is likely higher. Security is still a concern and MSF is limited in movements to secured areas. A large part of current operations is focused on the Stadium, where there is a large IDP population. Over the weekend, MSF constructed a consultation tent, pharmacy and store in the stadium to treat the IDPs. MSF reports that the people seem to be in generally good physical shape. There have been about 200 consultations per day since the facility was erected. However the large part of the IDP population remains in the surrounding countryside. The facility will likely have a large increase in activity when security increases and IDPs feel safe enough to return to their homes. A lack of security is preventing MSF from going to the countryside to provide services. One MSF staff member travelled to Baucau over the weekend to assess some of the facility conditions there. The hospital there is intact but has been looted of all supplies. OCHA has said that medical services may be able to restart in the hospital by Wednesday, September 29, 1999. MSF is planning to fly in staff and supplies directly to Dili to equip the hospital for the immediate future. MSF staff have yet to take residence in their domestic quarters. There have been concerns about the possibility of booby traps and the like and the house is being secured before entry. We are expected to be in the premises in the next two or three days West Timor activities The MSF team in West Timor is developing facilities for the Externally Displaced Persons (EDP) from neighbouring East Timor. In Kupang, latrines and water tanks have been installed in two of the camps. The team is considering a measles vaccination programme. In Atambua, three assessment missions have been sent and MSF is discussing options with local authorities. Areas that have been ear-marked for operations include:
  • Assistance to Atambua Hospital and area clinics
  • Working in the camps in and around Atambua Outlying Islands There have been 200 IDPs found in Alor, an island to the north of East Timor. They appear to be in slightly worse condition that other IDPs but are being cared for locally. Indonesian Government authorities are registering them. New arrivals continue to trickle in, using small boats.