Buea – Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) condemns last night’s attack on Mamfe district hospital in South-West region, Cameroon. The circumstances of the attack are not yet clear, but they resulted in the complete destruction of the health facility after the building was set on fire. MSF, which worked at the hospital until April 2022, calls on medical facilities, ambulances and medical staff to be respected by all parties involved in the crisis.
“This unprecedented attack on a hospital of vital importance will have a major impact on people in a region where access to healthcare has already been gravely impacted by years of violence,” says Sylvain Groulx, MSF’s operational manager for Central Africa. “As we wait for further information on the attack and its consequences for hospitalised patients, MSF strongly condemns this aggression, which will increase the suffering of people. We say again: medical care must not be a target.”
MSF is in contact with health authorities in the area and may assist in caring for patients evacuated from the hospital after it was set on fire.
“This attack will further affect our ability to resume our medical activities in the area after we had to suspend them two months ago,” says Groulx.
MSF has worked in Cameroon since 1984. Until recently, our teams were running medical projects in the Far North, Northwest and Southwest regions and in the capital, Yaoundé. MSF teams supported access to healthcare in hospitals and within communities, provide surgical care, malaria treatment, treatment for COVID-19 and health promotion activities. In 2020, we treated more than one million patients in Cameroon. In December 2020, MSF activities were suspended by authorities in the Northwest region; we are currently in dialogue with them to restart our medical support. MSF also supported the Ministry of Health in responding to a cholera epidemic in the Southwest region of Cameroon. Since April 2022, MSF has run no medical operations in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.