Chad violence triggers care crisis13th December 2006
The United Nations has withdrawn most of its operational staff from eastern Chad following an attack on a warehouse and staff, leaving many local people living in camps and local communities with little access to health care, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
Primary causes of illness among refugees are acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea and malaria, it said, adding that the WHO's outbreak early warning and response network still appeared to be functioning for the time being.
Around 200 people were injured during fighting around the town of Abéché in recent weeks.
"As violence intensifies, the number of persons wounded by fighting is becoming a serious concern," WHO's Abéché-based coordinator Innocent Nzeyimana said. "Local personnel is not sufficiently trained nor local resources sufficient to handle these cases."
Non-governmental organisations working in the camps still have enough medicines for current healthcare needs, WHO said. But injured civilians were being left without proper care if they were not in an area covered by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-Holland, which is managing the care of wounded people in Abéché and in other areas.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has also deployed a surgical team in Abéché for emergency intervention.
The situation in Chad, which has been gradually deteriorating since the beginning of 2006, has taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks. In the eastern region, which has been hosting some 234,000 Sudanese seeking refuge from the conflict in Darfur since 2003, the rebellion has also displaced an estimated 63,000 Chadians in 2006.
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Title: Chad violence triggers care crisis
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1477
Date Added: 13th Dec 2006