Pakistan: Assisting Afghan refugees

A measles-vaccination campaign held in Chaman's Roghani camp during 2004 reached about 6,000 children, and MSF was treating 42 people for tuberculosis (TB) by June 2004. In January 2004, MSF took over the provision of medical care at three health posts in the Mohammed Kheil refugee camp in Balochistan, near Quetta, which has approximately 47,000 residents. On MSF's first day of operations, hundreds of refugees came to the posts due to the poor level of health care which had been provided previously. The most common health problems seen by the team have been respiratory tract infections, diarrhea, skin diseases and worms. MSF projects in Pakistan were scaled back in response to the killings of five staff members in neighboring Afghanistan during June 2004 and additional death threats made against MSF volunteers by the Taliban. While many MSF international volunteers were sent home or were reassigned to other MSF projects, members of the NATIONAL STAFF:, supported by a small team of international MSF volunteers, continue to provide basic services including limited consultations, vaccinations and TB treatment. From August to October 2003, MSF provided emergency aid following flooding in five districts of Sindh province in southeastern Pakistan. This assistance included basic health care, drinking water and sanitation. In 2004, the team in Pakistan completed several health assessments of Kashmir, near the Line of Control. MSF is reviewing the feasibility of working in villages bordering the line and cut off from the rest of Pakistan by mountains and weather conditions for a large part of the year. The project would address maternal and infant mortality. MSF has worked in Pakistan since 2000. INTERNATIONAL STAFF: 6 NATIONAL STAFF: 400