As violence continues across the Central African Republic (CAR), International Medical Corps remains on the ground addressing the urgent health needs of affected communities. At least 2,000 people have been killed and more than 700,000 have been displaced in the country since December.
Our health teams are providing outpatient consultations, prioritizing testing and treatment for malaria; antenatal consultations and safe deliveries for pregnant women; nutritional screening and treatment for severely malnourished children; measles and polio vaccinations; treatment for survivors of sexual violence; and promotion of key health, hygiene and nutrition messages.
Working in two clinics in Bangui, International Medical Corps provided 1,288 consultations from February 15-February 25, of which 48% of presented cases were related to malaria. The team saw more than 100 cases of moderate malnutrition and 13 cases of severe malnutrition as well.
In Bouca, we have been able to send a large cargo of drugs and essential supplies to the health center in town. As a result, International Medical Corps staff was able to provide 734 consultations from February 15-25, with 16 cases of moderate malnutrition and 8 cases of severe malnutrition seen.
In Bria, International Medical Corps has finalized a measles campaign and nearly 14,000 children, aged 6 months to 15 years, were vaccinated against the disease February 15-19. A mass nutrition screening was also conducted during the same time period, with 5,841 children checked for malnutrition.
The security situation in the region of Vakaga remains volatile. We continue to monitor ongoing developments and are prepared to expand and deliver a comprehensive humanitarian response as needed.
Moving forward, we are focusing efforts to prevent further food crisis in CAR, as many large traders and herders have been targeted by violence and chased from the country. Currently, the UN reports that 90% of people are only eating one meal each day. With the onset of the planting season, 96% of farmers have no access to seed, which would mean a failed harvest and a worsening of existing conditions.
Dr. Christian Mulamba, Country Director of International Medical Corps in CAR said, “We still need to do everything we can to save the coming harvest but the reality is that it will inevitably be poor. This can only deepen and prolong the current crisis. We have to both scale up emergency support for hungry families now, as well as start preparing to provide sustained support for the year to come.”
International Medical Corps has worked in remote, underserved areas of CAR since 2007. In December, we expanded our services to the capital of Bangui in response to the escalation of violence in the country.