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March 08, 2017

In recent months, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Serbia have treated an increasing number of patients who reported widespread violence and cruel and degrading treatment allegedly perpetrated by Hungarian authorities at the Serbian-Hungarian border. The international medical humanitarian organization calls on Hungarian authorities to investigate and take immediate action to stop these brutal practices. 

September 16, 2015

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has reinforced its teams on the Serbian side of the country’s border with Hungary, where a rapidly increasing number of refugees has been stranded following Hungary’s closure of the border.

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.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is urgently calling on both parties in the conflict in the Vanni area in northern Sri Lanka to ensure the safety of civilians and to allow access to humanitarian assistance. In neighbouring Vavuniya, located outside the conflict zone, MSF medical teams are working with hospital staff around the clock. Ninety percent of the injuries seen are a direct result of the fighting. People are being brought to hospitals with gun-shot and shrapnel wounds.

During the first two weeks of March relatively few people seem to have been able to flee from the Vanni area in Sri Lanka.

With heavy rains pouring down in the last days, the situation in Sri Lanka’s northern Vanni region has deteriorated further. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is concerned that watery diarrhea and respiratory infections will pose serious threats to the more than 150,000 civilians still estimated to be trapped in the area. People have been lacking drinking water, medicines and a sanitation system for weeks.

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