Why are we there?

  • Armed conflict

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Our work

This is an extract from our latest Activity Report, looking back on our work in the previous year.


As the conflict following the disputed presidential election subsided and the humanitarian situation improved, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) gradually handed activities back to returning Ministry of Health staff.

A team remained at the hospital in the western town of Duékoué throughout 2012. They took care of surgical emergencies, internal medicine, and maternal and paediatric services. In July, staff in the emergency department treated 56 casualties from an attack on a camp for displaced people.

MSF started working in Taï, to the south of Duékoué, at the end of 2011. Staff support Ministry of Health teams in the outpatient, maternal and paediatric services of a 20-bed facility, which sees more than 2,000 outpatients every month.

Handover of medical activities

MSF support for health services in and around the town of Guiglo came to an end. The team at Bloléquin hospital left in January. MSF left the Nikla dispensary, where staff ran a feeding programme that accommodating 20 inpatients, at the end of March.

Activities at the health centre in Guinkin, where the team was holding up to 1,200 consultations each month, were handed over to the Ministry of Health a few months later.

At the end of 2012, MSF had 369 staff in Ivory Coast. MSF first worked in the country in 1990.

Patient story

Charles*, 72 years old
“On Monday 28 March I was at home, because I am old and retired. Armed people came and took me to the big road.

"They laid me down on it, doused me with gasoline and set me on fire. My foot and my clothes were burnt. Somebody took me to the hospital on his moped the next day.

“Then the rest of my family followed me here. Our home was destroyed, burned down. We don’t have anything left. The harvest has gone. Everything has been ransacked.

“I need to heal my foot. But when I get out of hospital where am I going to go and where am I going to put my family? I’m panicking just thinking about going back to my village.

"I don’t really care who the president is, whether it is Paul or Joe, I just want to be in peace.”

* The patient’s name has been changed.