Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is suspending its operation in Macomia, Cabo Delgado, following last week’s attack which left the heath centre where the NGO works “severely damaged,” and forced its staff to hide in surrounding bush for two days until the fighting subsided.
“MSF had 27 staff supporting the Macomia Health Center. They hid in the bush for nearly two days terrified to come out. Thankfully no one was injured and today everyone is accounted for,” MSF head of mission Caroline Gaudron Rose. “This attack and those before it have forced thousands to flee. Our ability to reach those in need is jeopardized by this increase in violence and with the destruction of the Health Center.”
“There are still thousands of displaced people who are hiding in the bush, too scared to go back to their villages. They are terrified of the ongoing violence,” said Gaudron Rose. “The situation could be extremely dire for those who were forced to flee from Macomia and other villages — without shelter, clean water and access to medical care, they are extremely vulnerable.”
Humanitarian assistance is crucial for the displaced population already suffering from malaria and cholera outbreaks and little access to HIV and TB care — conditions which are compounded by the violence in the province. However the conflict means access to the northern region of Mozambique has become more difficult, MSF said.
MSF suspended its medical support in Mocimboa da Praia following attacks on the town in March, and is now “actively reviewing its strategy in order to continue supporting the thousands of people that have lost their livelihoods, homes and communities,” it said in the statement.