Enora, MSF doctor in medical consultation.

Update: access granted for medical staff

As Doctors Without Borders (MSF), we express our gratitude to the Malagasy authorities, especially the President’s office, for their provision of new visas for the organisation’s international personnel. This brings to an end a situation of blockage that the organisation had found itself in for the past weeks.

On August 12 we had announced that we would be forced to stop our activities in Madagascar unless our international staff were granted access to the country.

Since the beginning of July, the Malagasy government has reinforced the closure of its frontiers in the face of the threat of the Delta variant. Only certain categories of foreigners are permitted to enter the country, but humanitarian workers are not covered by these exceptions. This situation is now resolved as nine new visas have been provided to our staff thanks to the actions of the authorities.

Malnutrition project in Madagascar
An MSF staff assesses a child by comparing their weight-for-height ratio to international WHO standards, and/or by measuring a child’s mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) using colour-coded paper bracelets. Since March 2021, we have provided critical medical care to 6,000 malnourished children across 20 localities in Amboasary and Ambovombe districts in Madagascar.
Jorge Nyari/MSF

This will allow us to continue our food distribution and treatment of malnourished patients in the districts of Amboasary and Ambovombe. The south of the island has been experiencing a large nutritional crisis since the end of 2020.

A new deterioration of the situation is expected in October when people’s stocks from the last harvests will begin to run out but the new crops will not yet be ready for harvesting.

We are now confident that the Malagasy authorities will respond positively, as they have just done, to our demands for exceptional permission for our personnel to access their territory. This will allow us to continue treating patients affected by acute malnutrition and distribute food to the 1.3 million people who are currently living in a critical situation.