#CARcrisis – from EMERGENCY’s Pediatric Center in Bangui, Central African Republic

Happy holidays from EMERGENCY staff at the Pediatric Center in Bangui

December 2012 holidays with EMERGENCY staff at the Pediatric Center in Bangui

During this holiday season the work continues to increase stability in Bangui. EMERGENCY USA is deeply inspired by the local and international staff of EMERGENCY who dedicate their lives to provide medical and surgical care in war-zones.

EMERGENCY has been in Central African Republic since 2009 with a Pediatric Center in Bangui that provides free health care to children up to 14 years old. Since March 2013, following the coup d’état, a team from EMERGENCY specialized in surgery started working at the Complexe Pédiatrique, the only public pediatric hospital in the country.

When fighting broke out in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, shots could be heard from EMERGENCY‘s Pediatric Center, just opposite the parliament building. EMERGENCY‘s staff at the Pediatric Center have been diligently continuing operations during the tumultuous first two weeks of December and reporting on the chaotic situation.
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December 3-11, 2013
Bangui, Central African Republic

Tuesday, December 3rd: Ten children between 1 and 10 years old of the Peuls ethnic group, Muslim nomads living about 90 km north of Bangui, arrived Tuesday morning at EMERGENCY‘s pediatric center after militia lined them up in a row and struck them with machetes and firearms.

Wednesday, December 4th: While the children’s wounds are extremely serious, they are responding well to the treatment.

Thursday, December 5th: Fighting in Bangui has gone on since morning.
 Skirmishes prevent the war surgery team from reaching EMERGENCY‘s Pediatric Center.

Monday, December 9th: The situation in Bangui is escalating: French troops increase their patrols; houses are searched for men and boys as targets; dead bodies still lay uncovered on the border of the main streets. Thirty children have undergone surgery in the past few days at the Complexe Pédiatrique. EMERGENCY‘s Pediatric Center continues to operate despite the chaos and fear.

Wednesday, December 11th: Most parts of the city have stabilized: some shops have re-opened, and there is no more gunfire. Since yesterday, EMERGENCY‘s Pediatric Center started receiving more patients. Because people outside the capital are frightened of the journey to EMERGENCY‘s hospital, the usual 100 children treated per day has fallen to 40 children today.

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The Bangui Pediatric Center opened in March 2009 as part of long-term efforts to bring life-saving care to war-torn communities around the globe through sustainable regional medical centers. The Center is one of the facilities within the EMERGENCY Regional Health Program for Africa, a network of facilities providing free of charge pediatric health care in the region. The Center is open 24 hours a day, and offers health assistance, and health and hygiene education to children up to the age of 14.

Click here for updates and to read more reports from the EMERGENCY staff in Bangui as well as other news from the field.

Recent updates are continued in our second blog post on civilian casualties from Bangui posted January 8, 2013.