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Russian Federation / northern Caucasus: Medical aid stepped up in Chechen Republic

21-03-2002 News Release 02/12

 On 13 March, the ICRC signed a three-way agreement between it, the Ministry of Health of the Chechen Republic and the Chechen branch of the Russian Red Cross on aid to Ministry of Health facilities in the Chechen Republic.  


 As these facilities are increasingly repaired and brought back into service, the ICRC is beginning to provide the health posts, polyclinics, and first-aid/obstetric stations in the Shali and Urus-Martan districts and Argun town with essential medicines free of charge for the local population.  


 To maximize effectiveness, aid is tailored to the specific situation. For example, facilities staffed full time by qualified doctors are furnished with medicines only, while two Russian Red Cross mobile clinics with doctors aboard visit villages where there is only a first-aid post once or twice per week.  


 The programme's implementation will be monitored by means of regular visits to all facilities and by health surveys among the population.  


 The agreement reflects the ICRC's concern to adapt its humanitarian aid to the ever-changing needs of the civilian population in the northern Caucasus.  


 Other responses to those needs in Chechnya consist of water purification in Grozny, medical assistance to the surgical departments of nine hospitals, distributions of bread and other food to some 37,000 particularly needy people, food and non-food aid for various medical and social welfare institutions, assistance for centres that help internally displaced people return to their homes, and mine-awareness work.