Medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Doctors (MSF) is deeply concerned by the rapidly worsening situation in the isolated area of Hauts Plateaux in the region of Uvira, South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Thousands of civilians are trapped by conflict that has been raging in the area since the beginning of February 2010 between the Congolese army (FARDC), FDLR rebels and various armed groups.
Violence against civilians is frequent, but the constant threat to civilians prevents wounded people from reaching the local hospital where an MSF surgical team is working. Currently MSF is the only medical organisation providing direct medical care in the region.
Currently MSF is the only international humanitarian organisation providing direct medical care in Hauts Plateaux. MSF teams face huge challenges in their effort to provide medical care to the displaced families.
“It takes five to six hours on foot to reach our medical base in Kihuha and another two hours from there to reach the hospital in Katanga, where our surgical team is based,” said Steve Avoci, MSF surgeon in Katanga.
“It is very isolated here and conditions are very difficult. A few days ago, a patient arrived needing urgent surgical attention. It was a complicated surgery and it was impossible to refer him to another appropriate structure, so an MSF surgeon, based in Bukavu, helped me over the telephone to operate on the wounded patient.”