Posts tagged refugee camp

We are thrilled and relieved to announce that our colleagues abducted from Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya 644 days ago have been released. http://bit.ly/112bbcM

We are thrilled and relieved to announce that our colleagues abducted from Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya 644 days ago have been released. http://bit.ly/112bbcM

Members of a Muslim minority community, the Rohingya, bathe at a water pump in the camp where they are living near Sittwe, Myanmar. The Rohingya are not recognized by the government as citizens and their movements are severely restricted, cut off from health facilities, food, markets, farming, and, in some cases, clean water. Photo by Kaung Htet Read more http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/press/release.cfm?id=6798&cat=press-release

Members of a Muslim minority community, the Rohingya, bathe at a water pump in the camp where they are living near Sittwe, Myanmar. The Rohingya are not recognized by the government as citizens and their movements are severely restricted, cut off from health facilities, food, markets, farming, and, in some cases, clean water. Photo by Kaung Htet Read more http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/press/release.cfm?id=6798&cat=press-release

Photo: People line up for registration at a vaccination site. South Sudan 2013 © Corinne Baker/MSF
Preventing Cholera in South Sudan’s Remote Refugee Camps
MSF teams have completed a preventive cholera vaccination campaign in and around the refugee camps in Maban County, South Sudan. Hoping to prevent the spread of the potentially fatal disease, staff vaccinated 105,000 refugees in four camps and 27,500 other residents of the area.
MSF launched the vaccination campaign with the cooperation of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health as part of a cholera preparedness and prevention plan. While teams have already set up and pre-stocked cholera treatment facilities in the camps, the remoteness of the area and supply challenges mean that a cholera outbreak could be disastrous. That’s what makes the added prevention provided by a vaccination campaign so crucial.
“The key for preventing cholera is to ensure sufficient access to clean drinking water, and to have appropriate sanitation and hygiene facilities,” says Paul Critchley, MSF emergency coordinator in Maban County. “We are currently tackling an escalating hepatitis E outbreak in the camps, so we know that sanitation conditions here are not yet adequate. Hepatitis E is spread in similar ways to cholera, and this reinforces the need to do all we can to prevent cholera breaking out too.”

Photo: People line up for registration at a vaccination site. South Sudan 2013 © Corinne Baker/MSF

Preventing Cholera in South Sudan’s Remote Refugee Camps

MSF teams have completed a preventive cholera vaccination campaign in and around the refugee camps in Maban County, South Sudan. Hoping to prevent the spread of the potentially fatal disease, staff vaccinated 105,000 refugees in four camps and 27,500 other residents of the area.

MSF launched the vaccination campaign with the cooperation of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health as part of a cholera preparedness and prevention plan. While teams have already set up and pre-stocked cholera treatment facilities in the camps, the remoteness of the area and supply challenges mean that a cholera outbreak could be disastrous. That’s what makes the added prevention provided by a vaccination campaign so crucial.

“The key for preventing cholera is to ensure sufficient access to clean drinking water, and to have appropriate sanitation and hygiene facilities,” says Paul Critchley, MSF emergency coordinator in Maban County. “We are currently tackling an escalating hepatitis E outbreak in the camps, so we know that sanitation conditions here are not yet adequate. Hepatitis E is spread in similar ways to cholera, and this reinforces the need to do all we can to prevent cholera breaking out too.”

Many memories of South Sudan will remain with me forever. Sad memories of seeing first-hand the dire circumstances many people have to endure or of witnessing the death of a small child. Disturbing images like seeing a small boy play with an imitation AK47 possibly trying to mimic his father or other men. But mostly happy memories of seeing a mother’s joy when her child gets better, the appreciation of our staff for training and coaching given, the surprise on people’s faces when I talked to them in my few words of Nuer, of working together with the rest of the team and of the beautiful sunsets.
Registration should not be a condition for receiving assistance in any emergency crisis. Yet access to humanitarian aid is seriously hampered by the difficulties many refugees encounter in registering on arrival in Lebanon. The roll out of aid must be accelerated and expanded.
The situation is extremely bad. We have no sewage system and had to dig holes in the ground. When it rains the water flows into the tents so the kids get sick. It’s also very cold and most families don’t have heaters, so we have to burn all sorts of materials. The kids are sick. Ourmost important concern here right now is medical care. We need doctors.
Syrian refugee from Deir Zenoun Camp, on the Misery Beyond the War Zone. 

Photos: Lebanon 2013 © Michael Goldfarb

A Deteriorating Humanitarian Situation for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

The MSF report, “Misery Beyond the War Zone,” shows that many of the 220,000 Syrians who have sought refuge in Lebanon cannot obtain the health care they need, among other worrisome findings. The survey, which follows a similar study carried out by MSF last June, reveals a marked deterioration of the humanitarian situation for refugees and other displaced people in Lebanon, in large part due to extremely lengthy registration delays. Refugees in Lebanon are not entitled to formal assistance if they are not registered.

Photo: A doctor does his rounds in MSF’s Hepatitis E ward in Maban County’s Batil camp. South Sudan 2013 © Corinne Baker/MSF
MSF Responds To Hepatitis E Outbreak In South Sudan Refugee Camps
An epidemic of hepatitis E is escalating across refugee camps in South Sudan’s Maban County. To date, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated 3,991 patients in its health facilities in the camps and has recorded 88 deaths, including 15 pregnant women.
Hepatitis E is a virus that causes liver disease and can lead to acute liver failure and death. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. Like cholera, the virus spreads in environments with poor sanitation and contaminated water. There is no cure, but its symptoms are treatable.
“We have been doing everything we can to care for people with hepatitis E, but there is no treatment for the disease,” says Dr. José-Luis Dvorzak, MSF Medical Coordinator in Maban County. “We suspect this outbreak is far from over, and many more people will die.”

Photo: A doctor does his rounds in MSF’s Hepatitis E ward in Maban County’s Batil camp. South Sudan 2013 © Corinne Baker/MSF

MSF Responds To Hepatitis E Outbreak In South Sudan Refugee Camps

An epidemic of hepatitis E is escalating across refugee camps in South Sudan’s Maban County. To date, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated 3,991 patients in its health facilities in the camps and has recorded 88 deaths, including 15 pregnant women.

Hepatitis E is a virus that causes liver disease and can lead to acute liver failure and death. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. Like cholera, the virus spreads in environments with poor sanitation and contaminated water. There is no cure, but its symptoms are treatable.

“We have been doing everything we can to care for people with hepatitis E, but there is no treatment for the disease,” says Dr. José-Luis Dvorzak, MSF Medical Coordinator in Maban County. “We suspect this outbreak is far from over, and many more people will die.”

MSF Field Report: Decreasing Child Mortality in South Sudan
Patients I’ll Never Forget 


While working in Batil Refugee camp setting up an inpatient therapeutic feeding center, Dr. Jacoby met several patients that she’ll never forget. One of her first patients was a young boy with multiple bee stings to his head. He was in good humor and basically ok, but was starving for food to eat. When food was scarce, young boys, like “Bee Boy,” would climb trees to get honey from beehives for their families to eat.

Another one of her patients, Aziza, was severely malnourished and almost died multiple times a day for the first week. She would go into shock, because she was suffering from lots of infections that were difficult to treat. “We had to be really careful with Aziza, because malnourished kids lose so much muscle, and a lot of the muscle they lose is in their heart. If you give them too much fluid, they go into heart failure. So we sat with Aziza and we gave her small amounts of fluid, and then we’d recheck her heart rate every 15-20 minutes,” says Dr. Jacoby.

By the end of Dr. Jacoby’s stay in the Batil camp, Aziza was sitting up and even smiling a little bit. She would only cry when she was hungry. A couple of weeks later, Aziza finally went home.

MSF Field Report: Decreasing Child Mortality in South Sudan 
A Crazy First Day


On Dr. Jacoby’s first day in Batil refugee camp, she didn’t even make it into the section of the clinic that constituted the therapeutic feeding center. There were so many people in need of immediate care, so she immediately began to help out the nurse that ran the outpatient department.

"There were far more sick people in Batil than you ever expect to see in one place. They were incredibly fragile, and throughout the camp there was just a massive amount of medical needs— respiratory infections, diarrhea, severe dehydration, malnutrition, and malari," recounts Dr. Jacoby on her ‘crazy first day.’

Photo:Women gather at a water tap in T3, the temporary transit site for new arrivals near Jamam. South Sudan 2012 © Shannon Jensen
When the Tap Runs Dry
On Thursday, the pumps at the Bamtiko borehole—the main source of water for Jamam refugee camp—had failed. Imran, MSF’s water and sanitation specialist, led his team in a quick emergency response to replenish and treat the water supply. 
“By the time evening came around that first wet day, I was covered in mud, exhausted, hungry, my clothes bleached by spilled chlorine — a day well-lived. I’m looking forward to doing it again,” says Imran. Read more from his blog on ensuring water treatment in South Sudan.

Photo:Women gather at a water tap in T3, the temporary transit site for new arrivals near Jamam. South Sudan 2012 © Shannon Jensen

When the Tap Runs Dry

On Thursday, the pumps at the Bamtiko borehole—the main source of water for Jamam refugee camp—had failed. Imran, MSF’s water and sanitation specialist, led his team in a quick emergency response to replenish and treat the water supply. 

By the time evening came around that first wet day, I was covered in mud, exhausted, hungry, my clothes bleached by spilled chlorine — a day well-lived. I’m looking forward to doing it again,” says Imran. Read more from his blog on ensuring water treatment in South Sudan.

An Escalating Health Crisis in South Sudan

Above: Asha Jibril cares for her two-year-old daughter Aziza Haran in the ITFC at MSF’s field hospital in Batil camp. A lack of nutritious food and clean water have left Aziza severely acutely malnourished and severely dehydrated. 

Since November 2011, MSF has been operating emergency programs in South Sudan for tens of thousands of refugees who fled violence in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. MSF has field hospitals in five refugee camps in Unity and Upper Nile states in South Sudan (Batil, Doro, Jamam, Yida, and Gendrassa). However, resources in the camps are stretched extremely thin, and the humanitarian crisis is only worsening as more refugees arrive. Heavy rains have exacerbated the situation, flooding camps and leaving refugees—many of whom have already endured the journey from Sudan on foot—vulnerable to diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and cholera.Photo: South Sudan 2012 © Nichole Sobecki

An Escalating Health Crisis in South Sudan

Above: Asha Jibril cares for her two-year-old daughter Aziza Haran in the ITFC at MSF’s field hospital in Batil camp. A lack of nutritious food and clean water have left Aziza severely acutely malnourished and severely dehydrated.

Since November 2011, MSF has been operating emergency programs in South Sudan for tens of thousands of refugees who fled violence in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. MSF has field hospitals in five refugee camps in Unity and Upper Nile states in South Sudan (Batil, Doro, Jamam, Yida, and Gendrassa). However, resources in the camps are stretched extremely thin, and the humanitarian crisis is only worsening as more refugees arrive. Heavy rains have exacerbated the situation, flooding camps and leaving refugees—many of whom have already endured the journey from Sudan on foot—vulnerable to diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and cholera.

Photo: South Sudan 2012 © Nichole Sobecki

An Escalating Health Crisis in South Sudan

Since November 2011, MSF has been operating emergency programs in South Sudan for tens of thousands of refugees who fled violence in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. MSF has field hospitals in five refugee camps in Unity and Upper Nile states in South Sudan (Batil, Doro, Jamam, Yida, and Gendrassa). However, resources in the camps are stretched extremely thin, and the humanitarian crisis is only worsening as more refugees arrive. Heavy rains have exacerbated the situation, flooding camps and leaving refugees—many of whom have already endured the journey from Sudan on foot—vulnerable to diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and cholera.Photo: An MSF clinical officer speaks with a woman on her way to MSF’s outpatient department in Batil camp. South Sudan 2012 © Nichole Sobecki

An Escalating Health Crisis in South Sudan

Since November 2011, MSF has been operating emergency programs in South Sudan for tens of thousands of refugees who fled violence in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. MSF has field hospitals in five refugee camps in Unity and Upper Nile states in South Sudan (Batil, Doro, Jamam, Yida, and Gendrassa). However, resources in the camps are stretched extremely thin, and the humanitarian crisis is only worsening as more refugees arrive. Heavy rains have exacerbated the situation, flooding camps and leaving refugees—many of whom have already endured the journey from Sudan on foot—vulnerable to diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and cholera.

Photo: An MSF clinical officer speaks with a woman on her way to MSF’s outpatient department in Batil camp.
South Sudan 2012 © Nichole Sobecki

This is…what we’re here for: responding to the most urgent and immediate medical needs. It is incredible what we have been able to achieve, but it’s not enough. There is always something more that can be done, and we have to fight to make sure these people have what they need, not just to survive, but to give them dignity, give them quality of life, make sure that they can maintain the spirit that they have.

Helen Ottens-Patterson, from the United Kingdom, is a nurse and Doctors Without Borders medical coordinator in Upper Nile State’s Maban County, South Sudan.

Here she speaks about the overwhelming situation of refugees in South Sudan.

“This Emergency is Huge—I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It”

“Families have lost and are losing mothers, fathers, and children. The coping mechanisms of this population have been destroyed. People who could normally manage just simply can’t. Their reserves have been eroded piece by piece during the long and grueling journey that has brought them to Batil camp. You see their faces, and it’s not that there is no emotion—they are feeling something inside, but they are just shutting down. It’s something that I can’t really describe. We have to actively seek out and support these vulnerable families and help them with each step.”-Helen Ottens-Patterson, from the United Kingdom, is a nurse and MSF medical coordinator in Upper Nile State’s Maban County, South Sudan. Here, MSF is the largest provider of emergency medical care for more than 110,000 refugees that have fled fighting in Sudan’s Blue Nile state. In Batil refugee camp, one of four camps in the county, a recent survey carried out by MSF showed that the mortality rate for children under five years old was more than double the emergency threshold. Here, Helen shares her experience providing care for this particularly vulnerable group of people.Photo:Helen Ottens-Patterson and Mohammed, who is now receiving intensive treatment for malnutrition at an MSF facility.
South Sudan 2012 © Olga Overbeek/MSF

“This Emergency is Huge—I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It”

“Families have lost and are losing mothers, fathers, and children. The coping mechanisms of this population have been destroyed. People who could normally manage just simply can’t. Their reserves have been eroded piece by piece during the long and grueling journey that has brought them to Batil camp. You see their faces, and it’s not that there is no emotion—they are feeling something inside, but they are just shutting down. It’s something that I can’t really describe. We have to actively seek out and support these vulnerable families and help them with each step.”

-Helen Ottens-Patterson, from the United Kingdom, is a nurse and MSF medical coordinator in Upper Nile State’s Maban County, South Sudan. Here, MSF is the largest provider of emergency medical care for more than 110,000 refugees that have fled fighting in Sudan’s Blue Nile state. In Batil refugee camp, one of four camps in the county, a recent survey carried out by MSF showed that the mortality rate for children under five years old was more than double the emergency threshold.

Here, Helen shares her experience providing care for this particularly vulnerable group of people.

Photo:Helen Ottens-Patterson and Mohammed, who is now receiving intensive treatment for malnutrition at an MSF facility.
South Sudan 2012 © Olga Overbeek/MSF