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Responses to emergencies

In situations involving humanitarian emergencies (especially armed conflicts or natural disasters) MSF team approach is generally difficult. In these environments, Epidemiology Intervention teams carry out surveys, in order to guide MSF operational response and to adjust the means levered.

The example of Dongo (Democratic Republic of Congo)

On the night of October 28, 2009, a violent confrontation took place in Dongo, on the banks of the Ubangi river. People fled massively, to seek refuge in neighboring Republic of Congo. MSF collected alarming eyewitness accounts and asked Epicentre to perform a retrospective mortality survey on these displaced populations living in RC regrouping sites.

MSF’s surgical activities subsequent to the Haiti earthquake

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale. The authorities stated 230,000 deaths. Three MSF sections were already present in Haiti, working in the following areas:

  • surgical and orthopedics, and traumatology,
  • a rehabilitation centre,
  • a gyneco-obstretrics centre.

Epicentre was asked by MSF to focus the surgical activity, which was of an unusually high level in Haiti after the earthquake, and to set up monitoring systems and recommendations.