MSF supporting three wards in Meulaboh Hospital, Indonesia
11 January 2005
MSF is now supporting the newly functioning paediatric, surgical and medical wards in Meulaboh hospital. On January 9, 40 patients were in the surgical ward, many of whom were suffering from infected wounds caused by the tsunami. MSF has also been taking care of two premature babies weighing only 2kgs. Along the west coast of Aceh, MSF has set up two mobile clinics focusing on Bubon and Samatiga (close to Meulaboh). The mobile clinic in Bubon is a focal point for around 1,200 displaced people, while in Samatiga, the MSF team is assisting around 51,000 others also forced from their homes. On Sunday, January 9, a medical team traveled by helicopter to Lamtengoh. Of the 18 villages around the Sampoiniek district in Lamtengoh, around 90% have been destroyed. The MSF team provided short medical consultations for 33 patients in a marketplace that hosts around 75 displaced. Patients referred to MSF psychologists told stories of how they had lost their loved ones during the tsunami. A fisherman, his body covered in wounds and scratches, told the team how his pregnant wife had been killed, while a teacher recounted how she had escaped up a hill only to see her village being washed away. Her 14-year-old daughter is still missing. Three further helicopter trips were made on Sunday. In Legan, a medical team was picked up having stayed in the town overnight, the second helicopter dropped off a team and medical supplies in Meulaboh and the third traveled to Lamno with water and sanitation materials. The mobile clinic team in Banda Aceh went to Leupung Mosque on Sunday and performed 67 consultations, with headaches (symptomatic of trauma), upper respiratory tract infection and skin diseases as the main pathologies. Transportation problems in the area present difficulties for the referral of patients, while access to health care remains severely limited. Also in Banda Aceh, two charter planes arrived from Jakarta with 20 tonnes of supplies, including mattresses, buckets and tents.