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Madagascar: ICRC sends emergency medical supplies

13-02-2009 News Release 09/36

Nairobi (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is airlifting medical supplies from Nairobi to Madagascar.

  ©ICRC/F. Grimm    
Nairobi. Loading emergency medical supplies destined for Madagascar    

The items dispatched are intended for the treatment of people wounded in the recent outbreak of violence.

Hospital sources estimate that more than 350 people have been wounded since protests turned violent at the end of January. The ICRC is stepping up its support to the Malagasy Red Cross Society and sending additional staff to the island.

" The situation is worrying, " said Valery Sasin, an ICRC surgeon who joined the team in Antananarivo yesterday. " We want to be prepared in case the violence flares up again and to make sure the wounded receive proper treatment and care. "

A chartered cargo aircraft left Nairobi this morning bound for Antananarivo with four kits for treating the war-wounded, 70 wound-dressing kits, 50 stretchers and a dispensary tent. The medical supplies will be delivered to referral hospitals and health-care centres according to need. The dispensary tent and the stretchers will help the Malagasy Red Cross cope with any influx of casualties in the event of new disturbances.

" The first priority in such a crisis is to stabilize the injured and evacuate them to medical facilities, " said Olivier Gillabert, head of the ICRC mission in Madagascar. " It is essential that the authorities respect the red cross emblem and enable the volunteers of the Malagasy Red Cross to perform their services quickly and safely. "

The ICRC delivered a first consignment of medical supplies to the Malagasy Red Cross and to Antananarivo's main hospital last week. The items were taken from emergency stocks stored in the ICRC's Nairobi-based logistics centre.

For further information, please contact:
  Nicole Engelbrecht, ICRC Nairobi, tel: +254 20 272 8387/2713367 or +254 722 512 728
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17
  or visit our website: