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Senegal: Red Cross assistance for 153 victims of electoral violence

27-02-2012 News Release

Dakar (SRC) – The Senegalese Red Cross has assisted 153 people injured during the pre-election demonstrations which the Mouvement du 23 juin has been organizing since 27 January. It ferried 44 casualties to hospital in the Dakar, Diourbel, Kaolack, Kédougou, Saint-Louis, Sédhiou and Thiès regions.

This press release was issued by the Senegalese Red Cross and has been published by the ICRC in support of the National Society.

All around the country, 98 rapid response teams comprising 686 first-aiders have been standing by, ready to provide emergency treatment during the social unrest which has marked the run-up to the elections. These volunteers, who have comprehensive first-aid training, constantly take part in the National Society's humanitarian action. Their work, which is coordinated by 205 volunteers, follows two guiding principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, namely those of gaining safe access to victims and of helping without succumbing.

As Dr Abdoulaye Wone, head of the health department of the Senegalese Red Cross, explains, "Most of victims treated by the first-aiders had minor injuries - cuts and bruises - to their head or body". We stationed nine units in sensitive areas of the town of Dakar and set up an advanced medical post in the Red Cross primary school,"

Nicolas Mendy, the coordinator of the contingency plan for first-aid operations of the Senegalese Red Cross adds, "The first-aid workers complied strictly with the security principles laid down in the contingency plan. The established procedure worked remarkably well, although we did find ourselves short of means of transport (medically equipped ambulances)."

These first-aid and humanitarian assistance activities of volunteers in the field receive financial, material and technical support from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

For further information, please contact:
Nfally Sadio, Communication Officer, Senegalese Red Cross, tel: +221 77 554 02 51