The team led by of the Emergency Unit, Gabriel Sanchez, the group released a report on five things one should know about the Anglophone Crisis, focusing on the attack of health facilities as the war goes on.
“ All parties involved in the conflict have been responsible for disrupting healthcare services and access, thereby depriving people of medical attention, often when they need it the most. Over the past year, our teams have documented 61 attacks on healthcare facilities and 39 attacks against medical professionals. Medical facilities and personnel need to be respected by government forces and non-state armed groups, so that vulnerable people can continue to receive the medical care they require”, quoted the group.
DWB also known by its French acronym, MSF is supporting 19 health structures across the North-West and South-West Regions to help them refer and provide emergency care to people who have difficult access to health services due to violence and displacement. The have been managing the care of emergency patients, particularly pregnant women, children under the age of five.
They have donated medicines and supplies, train community health workers to diagnose and treat the most commonly seen disease, Malaria and provide psychosocial support to people. In Bamenda and Widikum, in the North-West Region, and in Buea and Kumba in the South-West Region, our teams are operating a free ambulance service.
The group expressed regrets that continuous violence in the regions has restricted people’s access to healthcare, hindering them from reaching medical centres; interrupting supplies of drugs and equipment; causing medical staff to flee; and forcing health facilities to close. However, they have been able to transport patients from the community to health centres or hospitals, even during curfew hours, lockdowns and ghost towns.
It further revealed that between June 2018 and March 2019, DWB referred over 2500 patients by ambulance, a majority being women suffering from obstetric complications, children under 15, injuries and over 338 people with gunshot wounds.
Meantime, some areas according to the group, haven’t received medical attention due to continuous violence and inaccessibility.
Doctors Without Borders has been working in Cameroon since 1984 to provide medical assistance to vulnerable populations in a context of epidemics, natural catastrophes and situations of armed violence.