In south-east Chad, MSF is stepping up assistance to displaced people

Since early 2006, attacks on civilians in south-eastern Chad have resulted in the displacement of more than 100,000 Chadians. About 40,000 of them fled their homes in November and December alone when violence peaked.

According to many displaced people, attacks are generally being carried out by armed militia. In attacks on villages, many people have been killed and wounded: belongings and food stores have either been burned or pillaged: sometimes entire villages have been burned to the ground.

The displaced are forced to leave their homes with few belongings. They struggle to survive with little food and without the means to support themselves and are prevented from returning to their homes by patrolling gunmen. Many displaced remain in informal settlements in insecure areas where they get no or only little assistance.

Increased humanitarian needs due to violence and rising numbers of displaced come at a time when, in a parallel development, south-eastern Chad has become the scene of confrontations between Chadian military and armed groups opposed to the Chadian government.

© Marcus Bleasdale

MSF is providing medical assistance, drinking water and survival supplies in about a dozen locations where people have gathered for safety or have been offered refuge by other communities.

In Dogdoré, MSF has set up a 30-bed inpatient facility where about 130 cases are admitted every month. Services include paediatrics, maternal health and nutrition. MSF also runs the local health centre where about 2,400 consultations are being done every month. Mobile medical teams regularly visit villages and displaced sites in the area and refer severe cases to Dogdoré.

A water system, including hepatitis-E disinfection with UV light, has been installed and provides about 180,000 to 200,000 litres of drinking water to the local and displaced population. About 10,000 displaced have received essential items such as blankets, mats, soap and jerry cans.

In the village of Adé, bordering Sudan, MSF works in the local health centre and sees about 600 patients a month. Some 5,000 kits with basic relief items have been distributed in the area and the drinking water system is being restored. Activities in Adé have been interrupted for some days due to insecurity but have meanwhile resumed.

A medical team based in Goz Beida sees about 1,800 patients every months, the majority of them in the nearby Gassire displaced site where about 10,000 people have gathered in makeshift huts. There 3,000 children have been vaccinated against measles. During weekly visits to Kerfi and Sassebana further south, villagers and displaced receive basic medical care or are being referred to Goz Beida should they need further treatment. Relief items such as plastic sheeting, blankets, soap and buckets have been distributed to a total of 13,000 people in Gassire and Sassebana

Further north, a medical team based in Hadjer Hadid reaches out to the Goz Bagar and Goundiang displaced sites where more than a thousand patients are being treated every month during mobile clinics.

MSF provides basic health care to over 5,000 displaced who have gathered in and around Am Timam. About 1,000 patients are seen per month. Serious cases are referred to the Am Timam hospital which is supported by MSF with drugs and medical material. MSF has also distributed blankets, plastic sheeting and food among 1,400 displaced and provides them with clean drinking water.

The violence has not yet directly affected the numerous refugee camps housing some 200,000 men, women and children who fled fighting in Sudan's Darfur region since 2003. MSF provides medical care to a total of about 80,000 people living in Iridimi, Touloum, Farchana and Bredjing refugee camps and to the surrounding Chadian population. MSF also continues to provide health care in the Adré, Iriba, Tiné and Guereda hospitals.

MSF has been working in Chad since 1981.