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Côte d'Ivoire: Bulletin No. 1 - 22 November 2004

22-11-2004 Operational Update

Latest report on ICRC field activities

 In Abidjan  

A total of 92 people, some of them wounded in the confrontation in front of the Ivoire Hotel in the Cocody district, were taken to the city’s university hospitals by staff from the Red Cross Society of Côte d’Ivoire. Many more people would have received this help had the National Society not been subjected to attacks and threats, despite calls for the authorities to support its work. Red Cross personnel did nevertheless carry out some other activities, but without displaying any sign showing they were from the Red Cross. Between 5 and 11 November, 2,979 people were treated for wounds and various ailments by the Red Cross, including 1,221 people in Cocody on 9 November alone.

Beginning on Sunday 7 November medicines and other medical supplies sufficient to treat 250 wounded people were donated by the ICRC to the Cocody hospital and enough to the military hospital to treat 100. Dressing materials for 400 wounded people were also supplied to firefighters and first-aid material to the Ivorian Red Cross (together, these donations were worth 20 million CFA francs). The ICRC also provided the Cocody hospital with 136 kg of second-hand clothing (enough for some 200 people) through the Ivorian Girl Scout Federation. In addition, its staff helped to repair a pump in the Yopougon water-supply station, and collected the mortal remains of 17 detainees from Abidjan’s MACA prison.

On Thursday 11 November, a system for evacuating the wounded was put in place thanks to help from the organizers of a grassroots mobilization. Stretchers and a VHF radio were lent to non-Red Cross volunteers so that they could move the wounded to Red Cross ambulances.

Working conditions for the Red Cross improved dramatically after a series of discussions were held with all those involved in the popular mobilization. The improvement was the result of extra effort in terms of diplomacy and information.

On the morning of 16 November, 7.5 tonnes of medical supplies sent by the ICRC arrived at its regional delegation in Abidjan. They are sufficient to treat 900 wounded people.

 In the south  

Dressing materials and medicines were provided for hospitals and health-care centres in Gagnoa and Daloa. Ivorian Red Cross volunteers were mobilized in the towns of Abengourou, Aboisso, San Pedro, Gagnoa, Bouaflé, Dabou, Daloa, Oumé and Yamoussoukro, in particular whenever demonstations occurred. In all, 89 people received treatment in San Pedro, Gagnoa and Yamoussoukro. In Gagnoa, the National Society helped to transport blood bags between the various health-care centres.

Malnutrition in the Daloa remand prison and correction home was so extensive that the ICRC began an emergency nutrition programme there on 5 November for the entire prison population – some 550 people.

On 12 November, an ICRC truck transported medicines from the main public health dispensary in Abidjan to Gagnoa without incident.

 In the north  

The consequences of the electrical power outage in the region – especially the shutdown of the water-treatment plants and the stations supplying clean drinking water for a population of approximately 1,500,000 – were clearly the main concern during the past week. Besides the increased risk of epidemics, the region’s hospitals lacked clean water and electricity for their operating theatres. In Bouaké, Man and Korhogo, the ICRC began to disin fect traditional wells by putting a chlorine solution in water normally unfit to drink, and provided fuel for the main hospitals. On 11 November, the organization noted with satisfaction that basic services were gradually resuming throughout the north and the west of the country. The next day, clean drinking water was again being produced and distributed in the main cities, where the situation was returning to normal. Nevertheless, the ICRC will go on disinfecting wells for the time being, especially as a new widespread power cut occurred in the northern and western regions on 14 November. Côte d'Ivoire Électricité, the national electrical power provider, informed the ICRC that urgent measures would be taken to restore electricity supplies.

In Bouaké, the ICRC installed electric cables between the mortuary and a generator to ensure that any mortal remains would be well preserved.

The ICRC supplied 68 health-care centres in the Man, Korhogo and Bouaké regions with medicines provided by the main public health dispensary and UNICEF.

In Bouaké, food was distributed by joint ICRC / National Society teams in 10 centres accomodating people affected by the armed conflict.

 ICRC staff in Côte d'Ivoire  

Some 30 delegates and over 150 delegation employees work in the ICRC’s regional delegation in Abidjan and in its sub-delegations in Korhogo, Bouaké and Man.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Kim Gordon-Bates, ICRC Abidjan, tel. +225 05 391 602  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 22 71