Since its independence from France in 1960, Central African Republic (CAR) has been subjected to numerous coups and a lack of stability. Despite its considerable mineral deposits and natural resources, it remains one of the top 10 poorest countries in the world.
MSF in CAR 2014
Years of unrest have displaced tens of thousands of Central Africans, with many crossing the border into Chad and is often effected by violence wrought in neighbouring countries like South Sudan.
On 4th December 2014, almost one year to the day after anti-Balaka rebels launched an attack on Bangui, the French Minister of Defence stated that the “job was done” and that the country was returning to “normal.” He then announced the partial withdrawal from CAR of Sangaris, the French peacekeeping force.
Daily terror and fear remain a reality for people in CAR. Insecurity has also impacted MSF personnel and other aid workers. Over the past few months, they have been subjected to an increase in acts of violence of varying degrees.
MSF has been working in CAR since 1997. Since December 2013, we have doubled our medical assistance in CAR and are running additional projects for Central African refugees in neighbouring countries.
“Even when the children sleep under a mosquito net it is not possible to avoid malaria.
"During these months, I almost always have at least one child who has malaria, and it is painful to see my children suffer like this.” Read the full story
“This past year has pushed the population to the edge of the abyss.
"The deployment of MSF has been huge, spectacular and swift in order to respond rapidly and provide emergency medical care.
However the population is still in dire need of more assistance, including medical care. And above all, the population needs safety and security.”
MSF’s work in CAR: 2014
The health situation in Central African Republic (CAR) is catastrophic; conflict and displacement prevent people from obtaining the medical services they desperately need.
Providing healthcare in Bangui
In the capital MSF provides emergency surgery at the general hospital for victims of violence and trauma such as road accidents.
From December 2013 to March 2014, MSF supported maternal health activities and surgery in the Castor health centre until the situation improved and people could access other health centres in the city.
A programme offering medical and psychological care for victims of sexual violence was opened in July. Basic healthcare for children under 15 is available at Mamadou M’Baiki health centre in the city’s PK5 district. More than 39,900 consultations were carried out in PK5, nearly a third of them malaria-related.
Caring for the displaced
In January, MSF began activities at Berbérati regional university hospital, responding to the needs of displaced people, victims of violence, pregnant women and children. Weekly mobile clinics visited some 350 people living in the area. More than 41,900 outpatient consultations and 3,000 surgical interventions were performed by outreach activities in seven health centres.
An intervention from Berbérati to Nola, Sangha Mbaéré prefecture, saw 23,000 children vaccinated against measles.
From January to April, MSF responded to the health consequences of a spike in violence against enclaves of displaced people and the local population in Bouar, Nana-Mambéré, with mobile clinics and by supporting the emergency room and surgical activities at Bouar hospital. Staff treated more than 46,000 patients, most of whom had malaria.
We also supported the 165-bed Batangafo hospital and five local health centres. The village became part of the frontline in 2014. More than 96,000 outpatient consultations were carried out and almost 5,000 patients were admitted. Activities in the camps ceased in April when people were able to return home.
Following outbreaks of violence and population displacement in Ouaka prefecture, MSF opened projects in Bambari and Grimari in April. MSF supported palu points and health centres and vaccinated 4,000 children in the prefecture against polio and measles in August. The Grimari project closed in October.
In Kémo, MSF started supporting Dekoua parish clinic in May. More than 5,500 consultations were undertaken, mostly for young children. The project closed in August when people left the area.
Teams offered a comprehensive package of healthcare in Carnot, Mambéré-Kadéï, carrying out over 49,000 consultations during the year. Approximately 500 Muslims from Carnot have taken refuge in a church in the city; more than 4,470 consultations were provided to them through a regular mobile clinic.
Access to general healthcare
In Bocaranga, MSF ran a project between May and September to treat children under five during the annual malaria peak, and mobile clinics visited the northwest of the country. The comprehensive healthcare project in Paoua carried out some 71,400 consultations in 2014. In late February, MSF started working at the 80-bed referral hospital in Bangassou, the capital of Mbomou prefecture.
From May, MSF supported the 30-bed hospital in Ouango and rehabilitated its maternity, paediatric, internal medicine and surgery wards, as well as the operating theatre and the laboratory.
MSF also provided comprehensive healthcare to children under 15 in the refurbished hospital in Bria, Haute-Kotto, where there are high rates of malaria and malnutrition. More than 48,000 consultations were undertaken. A programme of basic and specialist healthcare at Ndele hospital, BaminguiBangoran, and four nearby health centres continued.
MSF remained the main healthcare provider for those living in the east of the country in Haut Mbomou.
Find out more in our 2014 International Activity Report.
At the end of 2014, MSF had 2,593 staff in the Central African Republic. MSF first began working in the country in 1997.
Latest news from MSF in CAR:
Related News & Publications
MSF Christmas cards
MSF seasonal cards are now available to order.