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July 08, 2015

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says a new combination of drugs created to treat extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is having a significant impact on a group of patients who are in the midst of a two-year treatment to cure their disease.

Despite the end of the war for independence from Russia, the Republic of Chechnya and the health of the Chechen population continue to be affected by instability. Beneath the relatively calm surface, a different conflict persists, with frequent reports of security incidents, vehicle explosions and shootings. Violence has also spread to the neighbouring regions of Ingushetia, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria and North Ossetia. Due to the insecurity, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is running

MSF program manager Filipe Ribero has conducted several evaluations at sites where displaced persons are living in Tbilisi and Gori.  In the field, there is a sharp contrast between a massive influx of international aid and limited opportunities — for now — to provide assistance. What is the current situation in Georgia?

Fighting has calmed in and around the breakaway region of South Ossetia, and the warring parties have reached a ceasefire agreement. The short, violent conflict has displaced a lot of people in Georgia, South Ossetia and the Northern Caucasus region of Russia. As of 20 August, MSF is still unable to access South Ossetia, the area where the conflict had broken out, in order to conduct an independent needs assessment and provide medical and humanitarian aid to the population if necessary.

An MSF emergency team based in Tbilisi has been able to gain access to the separatist province of South Ossetia and visit Tskhinvali Hospital. MSF, which already provides support to displaced people in Tbilisi, has offered to provide medical assistance in South Ossetia. On August 23 an MSF team was able to gain access to Tskhinvali in Southern Ossetia, visiting the republican hospital in this city where intense fighting broke out on August 7. The situation has been slowly returning to normal in the aftermath of the peace accord signed by Russia and Georgia.

In Tbilisi, MSF emergency teams are providing medical aid to those who have fled the fighting among Russians, Ossetians, and Georgians in South Ossetia. They are chiefly offering medical attention to people in shelters, some of them very elderly. Kalistine G. is having a hard time getting used to her new surroundings. This 82-year-old native of Georgia has been in Tbilisi for several days, where she has found refuge in an abandoned building that used to house the former Finance Ministry.

In the afternoon of October 11th 2008, the North Caucasus was hit by an earthquake. According to local authorities it was the most destructive in the last 30 years in the region. The epicenter of the earthquake, and most destruction and victims, were all based in Chechnya. Walls and roofs of houses collapsed in several settlements around the epicenter, killing 13 people. This occurred 40 kilometers east of the capital Grozny and 15 kilometers from the town of Gudermes. Over 100 people have been wounded and dozens were hospitalized to the nearby Gudermes hospital.

In 2008, MSF welcomed support from 80,000 individual Canadians who contributed directly to our efforts to bring life-saving medical care to those in need. In our annual report for 2008, you will find information on MSF projects funded thanks to this generous support, through detailed descriptions of our programs as well as our audited financial statements. As well, our general director and president share some of MSF’s biggest challenges and accomplishments from the past year.

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