In Burma's Black Heart, Hatred Stops Doctors Delivering Aid

Discussion in 'Doctors Without Borders/MSF | Assisting Survival' started by sobore, Feb 18, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Eight months after deadly communal clashes broke out in Burma's Rakhine state, tens of thousands of people are still unable to access urgently needed medical care, the international medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says. MSF calls on government authorities and community leaders to ensure that all people of Rakhine can live without fear of violence, abuse and harassment, and that humanitarian organisations can assist those most in need.

    ''It is among people living in makeshift camps in rice fields or other crowded strips of land that MSF is seeing the most acute medical needs,'' said Arjan Hehenkamp, MSF general director. ''Ongoing insecurity and repeated threats and intimidation by a small but vocal group within the Rakhine community have severely impacted on our ability to deliver lifesaving medical care.'' In June 2012, deadly communal clashes led authorities to place Burma's Rakhine State under an official state of emergency.

    An estimated 75,000 people were displaced and many homes were burned down. Further outbreaks of violence in October exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, forcing about 36,000 more people out of their homes and into makeshift camps, which do not have sufficient shelter, water, sanitation, food or health care.

    Many people who are still in their homes have also been affected by a lack of access to medical care due to the violence.

    Camp residents have many critical medical needs. Skin infections, worms, chronic coughing and diarrhea are the most common ailments that MSF teams have encountered in more than 10,000 medical consultations in the camps since October.

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