Médecins Sans Frontières’ response to civil unrest in Arab countries
February 24, 2011
As civil unrest leads to violent clashes in a number of countries in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean region, emergency staff from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provide support to fill gaps in the medical services for people injured in the protests. In those countries where MSF has been able visit health facilities, staff are dealing with the increased needs for treating injuries. But some hospitals and clinics are at risk of running low on medical supplies.
In Bahrain, an MSF assessment team made contact with medical organisations. The team visited Salmanya hospital, in the capital Manama, several times and has offered support in case the situation worsens in the coming days or weeks. From Egypt and Tunisia, MSF emergency staff are working on bringing supplies, including kits for treating wounded people, into Libya. In other countries in the region, including Yemen, MSF teams are ready to assist resident medical staff should a need to do so arise.
During the protests in Tahrir Square, Cairo, MSF supplied medical materials to Egyptian doctors in two hospitals and in an improvised clinic in a mosque. The team also provided training in how to manage a high number of injured people coming in over a short period of time, and helped set up additional emergency preparedness systems. In Tunisia, MSF donated orthopaedic surgery equipment to two hospitals in the south.