MSF to take on a civilian hospital

MSF capabilities in Baccau will increase substantially on Friday, October 8. Plans are to have a civilian hospital handed over to MSF for medical coordination.

Currently the MSF staff is operating out of a former military hospital. MSF shall maintain current operations until the handover, providing out-patient services to the local population.

There are currently 12 MSF staff members in Dili. Another nine are in Baucau. Three additional staff members are with the coordination team in Darwin, Australia. MSF staff members have had greater opportunities for movement and area appraisals. In Liquisa, the health centre has been destroyed.

However the Catholic Clinic is in better condition. Food, water and health remain the top priorities. In Dili and Baccau, a vaccination plan is underway. There has been a large-scale food distribution to the Dili population recently. Over 13,000 sacks of rice - each sack weighing 50kgs) were distributed through six designated areas in the city. Independence leader Xanana Gusmao has rejected a call from the U.N. for pro-independence forces to disarm.

He said they had the right to be treated as a "liberation army" an not as a "band of bandits". In West Timor, a U.N. repatriation test of East Timorese refugees sheltering in Kupang-Dili has been postponed until the end of the week.