Central African Republic: Worrying Health Crisis


Central African Republic descended into unprecedented chaos in December. The local Red Cross team traverses the city on a daily basis collecting bodies. After a recent spike in the intercommunal violence, the team collected 104 bodies in two days. About 1,000 people are estimated to have died in December alone as a result of the fighting. More than half the population of Bangui city is now displaced. About 400 000 people are crammed in 55 makeshift camps strewn around the city’s suburbs with increasing health risks.

The living conditions in the IDP sites are deplorable; many of the sites are becoming overcrowded, with very few latrines and insufficient water. Many families do not have any shelter and are sleeping in the open.

With the appalling sanitary conditions at the overcrowded IDP sites, the risk for disease outbreaks is high. The European Commission is providing medicine, disease surveillance, and sanitation facilities to avert a major health catastrophe.

Access to primary health care remains a big challenge across the country. Many of the public health facilities have remained closed for weeks, only opening intermittently. Humanitarian aid agencies are setting up makeshift clinics within the centres for the displaced, but the needs are overwhelming.

The full article with related slideshow continues at http://ec.europa.eu/echo/media/photos/picture_stories/car_health_crisis_en.htm  on the European Commission’s website.