Previous
Next

Country/Region

Following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck China’s southwestern province of Sichuan on Monday, 2.28pm local time, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will today dispatch its first medical teams to one of the worst hit areas. According to state media, China’s most devastating earthquake in 30 years left nearly 10,000 dead and scores more are feared dead or injured.

Two days after a powerful earthquake hit Sichuan Province in southwestern China, the confirmed death toll nears 15,000 and thousands of people remain trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, according to provincial authorities.

MSF teams working in China’s quake-hit areas

A week after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake killed a reported 32,000 and left up to 4.8 million people homeless in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has now provided over 210 tonnes of relief supplies as well as medical assistance to the survivors. Reinforced by an enormous outpouring of material and financial support by private citizens and local communities throughout China, as well as offers of additional aid from abroad, the Chinese government’s response to the disaster has so far been swift and massive.

The Chinese government is now estimating that over 5 million have been left homeless by the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of the country’s Sichuan province 12 days ago. A total of 34 MSF team members are now in the affected region and have been carrying out assessments, providing surgical and basic medical care, as well as mental health services, and donating tents and medicines to the relief effort. The local, regional, and national response has been enormous, but some of the needs, especially in the area of shelter, remain.

Interview with Tony Marchant, outgoing emergency coordinator in Chengdu, Sichuan Province  What are the main needs of the people in Sichuan today? Following extensive assessments in the affected region, MSF teams have found that the response in terms of food, water, sanitation and hygiene is largely adequate in most places. Over 5 million have been left homeless by the quake, so the need for shelter is tremendous.

Following a directive from the government of Sri Lanka earlier this week, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) withdrew its staff today from Kilinochchi town in the LTTE-controlled Vanni. MSF is very concerned about the possible consequences of ongoing hostilities for the population still living in the area, and the impact of displacement on the health of the population. MSF urges both parties to the conflict to ensure that all possible measures are taken to protect civilians from the impact of the conflict, and to allow assistance to resume as soon as possible.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is very concerned for the safety of an estimated 250,000 people trapped in heavy fighting in the Vanni district of Sri Lanka. Hundreds of civilians are reported to have been wounded and killed during the last days as the area controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has shrunk in the face of the government of Sri Lanka’s military offensive. MSF has received reports from the Vanni area that the plight of the civilians is dire. Hospitals are coping to the best of their ability, but are running low on drugs and medical staff.

On Jan. 29, 226 sick and wounded civilians, 51 of them children, were evacuated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN from the Vanni district of Sri Lanka. Delays at the government checkpoint in Omanthai meant that patients were arriving throughout the evening and night and into the very early morning in Vavuniya Hospital. Some were newly wounded during the recent fighting, while others were suffering from festering wounds up to two or three weeks old.  In the fighting many patients lost limbs due to shrapnel and shells.

Wounded, shocked and distressed. After having fled heavy fighting in the Vanni area of Sri Lanka, people arriving in Vavuniya hospital need both medical care and counselling. Working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), mental health worker Karen Stewart hears their stories and shares them here. People arrive here in a state of extreme anxiety and fear. They have been separated from their families and often have no news about their fate. Young children and the elderly travelling with their caretakers claim they were separated at a checkpoint.

Pages