On Monday January 3, MSF conducted three helicopter trips to Lamno and Lampe-Ngo on the western coast of Aceh, on the north Sumatra clastline of Indonedia.
Two medical teams remained on the ground to set up mobile clinics, bringing supplies and food for the population. For the first time, MSF teams spent the night in the villages on the western coast, in order to get a more complete picture of the population's needs and to have hands-on contacts with these isolated and traumatised communities.
In Lamno, around 11,000 displaced people are living in six camps. Here, around 75% of the population is reported to have died in the tsunami. MSF is currently conducting medical consultations from a shop and is witnessing an urgent need for water and sanitation facilities since most of the wells have been flooded with salt water.
In Lampe-Ngo, MSF found around 3,000 displaced. People told the MSF team that around 80% of the population had disappeared during the tsunami. Some wounded people remaining are in need of minor surgery. The need for food is also high. Until now, the people have been drying and eating the rice that was under water.
MSF has also been continuing its assessments by car along the east coast. At Sigli hospital, the staff was so overwhelmed that the MSF doctors stayed to help out. The hospital is full of wounded people, many of whom are in need of surgery and are suffering from severe trauma. The lack of staff and material is compounded by poor sanitation.
MSF has decided to send in a surgical team which will arrive today (Tuesday January 4) in the hospital. The sanitary situation in 14 displaced camps around Sigli is alarming. MSF will boost the team with water and sanitation staff and two mobile clinic teams.
Meanwhile, In Banda Aceh the mobile clinic team returned to Cot Keung, where 228 consultations were given. The most common pathologies were respiratory tract infections, skin diseases, diarrhoea and wounds. Our team referred three injured patients to Fakine hospital.
In one displacement camp, a washing area was built, along with garbage management (including mobilising the displaced to help with the clean up operation).
Construction of a disinfection point for people collecting the corpses has also begun, but a staff training was postponed until enough staff have been found to man the post. Like the day before, MSF provided a small donation of body bags.
Today, the Greenpeace boat 'Rainbow Warrior' will arrive from Medan to support MSF logistically. Another cargo flight with rice, gas, jerry cans and more medical supplies is also expected. In addition, 12 tons of cargo from Belgium arrived on January 3, mostly medical and logistic supplies.
The total quantity of supplies that MSF has brought into Banda Aceh is now almost 200 tonnes.
On Tuesday, MSF has in total 57 staff in Aceh, 38 of them Indonesian.