Diarrhoea, respiratory infections and skin diseases are also prevalent due to inadequate conditions. Potential outbreaks of cholera are also a concern, particularly during the rainy season. The vast majority of admissions to our health posts are children.
Protracted encampment and a general sense of insecurity in the camp, together with helplessness about what the future holds, contributes to growing mental health needs among the refugees.
MSF carries out mental health consultations for displaced people and the local population.
Speaking out Case Study
Rwandan Refugee Camps in Zaire and Tanzania 1994-1995
Following the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, nearly 2 million ethnic Hutus fled across the border into eastern DRC, as well as Tanzania and Burundi, where they settled in large refugee camps. Humanitarian access to the camps was severely limited, or outright denied; and refugees were subjected to targeted armed attacks by Rwandan and Burundian armies, as well as the AFDL (Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) forces.
MSF tried to provide aid to both refugees and local populations caught in the fighting. These teams came face to face with the AFDL’s and the Rwandan army’s bloody methods, which included using humanitarian organisations as a lure to draw refugees out of hiding.
In the years since the atrocity, MSF released a detailed case study, highlighting the dilemmas that emerge from humanitarian involvement in conflict situations. The report outlines the decision for MSF staff to speak out.