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Central African Republic: Situation in hospitals catastrophic

28-03-2013 News Release 13/54

Geneva/Bangui (ICRC) – A few days after the heavy fighting that rocked Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, the security situation in the city remains very unsettled and the plight of casualties extremely worrying.

"The corridors in the Community Hospital of Bangui are overflowing with injured people. The doctors and nurses can no longer cope with emergencies," said Dr Bonaventure Bazirutwabo of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) after visiting the hospital. "The situation is catastrophic. The wounded are taking up every available space in the hospital, and the sick cannot be treated."

Nearly 200 people wounded in clashes have been admitted to the city's main hospitals, including around 40 who are still awaiting emergency surgery. The hospitals, like the entire city, are currently without running water and a continuous supply of electric power; soon they will also be without fuel. Because they do not have adequate stocks of medicines, the main hospitals in Bangui can no longer admit new patients. The ICRC has delivered 150 litres of fuel to the Community Hospital, the city's main medical centre, for its generator.

"It remains difficult for us to move about safely within the city," said Georgios Georgantas, head of the ICRC delegation in Bangui. "Looting is unfortunately still going on. We are determined to bring aid without delay to everyone who needs it, including the injured and medical personnel. We are doing everything we can to achieve this aim despite the current situation."

Central African Red Cross Society volunteers have assisted nearly 400 people by providing them with first aid or, in the most serious cases, by taking them to medical facilities. Today they are helping to manage mortal remains at the mortuary and in the city's neighbourhoods, and to bury them. The ICRC is supporting their efforts by providing them with first-aid supplies, fuel and disinfectant.

For further information, please contact:
Vincent Pouget, ICRC Bangui, tel: +237 94 202 493 or +236 75 64 30 07
Marie-Servane Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 60