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07 Oct 13 08 Dec 16

DRC: MSF limits medical activities in Mweso

Press release

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has limited its medical activities in and around Mweso hospital in Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu province after a succession of incidents where staff were intimidated, patients threatened, medical vehicles stopped and searched and hospital grounds violated.

Currently a reduced MSF team is providing life saving activities only in Mweso hospital. Direct support and supervision to five health centres in the surrounding area have been halted for the time being.

Suspended medical services

Two other clinics run by MSF offering specialist medical services and counselling to survivors of sexual violence have been suspended.

“We cannot accept attempts to hinder or manipulate our medical work,” said Annemarie Loof, MSF’s Operations Manager.

“Medical facilities and ambulances cannot become a part of the battlefield. All people in need of medical assistance should be able to access healthcare at our facilities.”

Independent, neutral and impartial

The safety of MSF’s staff and facilities is ensured by an understanding between  all warring parties that MSF is an independent, neutral and impartial medical organisation.

But despite treating anyone in need of medical assistance, maintaining a safe space in this complex conflict zone has proved a constant challenge to MSF.

To avoid the loss of health services for communities and people who otherwise have nowhere else to turn, it is crucial that all armed groups and communities respect the safety of medical facilities and staff.

Find out more about MSF's work in Democratic Republic of Congo

Press release