“Two of our guards were beaten up and threatened at gun point while shots were fired from both sides of the hospital wall,” says MSF Project Coordinator, Anne Garella. “We were lucky that patients were not hurt but a person was injured and we provided him with emergency care. Tensions inside the hospital were very high and no body was able to leave the premises for five hours.”
Strict no-weapons policy
The attack on the hospital is the latest in a series of events that threaten the access and security of the medical mission. In April this year, doctors in the same hospital were seriously threatened by patients. The following month, armed forces forcibly entered the building and attempted to take away a patient, and in July, a shooting took place at the hospital gate.
The 40-bed capacity hospital in
Treatment based on humanitarian principles
“We treat people of all social and political backgrounds based on humanitarian principles,” explains Thomas Balivet, MSF Head of Mission. Despite MSF’s best efforts to guarantee the integrity of the facility, the latest attack underscores the dire need for local authorities and community leaders to take serious measures to prevent further attacks from happening again.
“We have reached a point where we really need substantial commitments from local communities and authorities to ensure that the hospital and its close vicinity remain free of weapons,” says Balivet. This week, authorities both in
MSF looks forward to a prompt resolution of this situation, negotiating with authorities to ensure that the wounded and sick receive the care they need without discrimination of any kind, and regardless of the reasons for their medical conditions.